Two young Bermudians have benefited from a rewarding educational experience aboard the Oleander, thanks to a collaboration between Endeavour Community Sailing, Bermuda Container Line and BF&M.
Matthew Stephens  and Timothy Webb , both graduates of the inaugural Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme, received a tour of the Oleander ship and dock operations arranged by Barry Brewer, President and CEO of the Neptune Group Management, managers for BCL. Bermuda Container Line is a Bermuda-owned and operated shipping company.
This unique experience was made possible after John Wight, Chairman of Bermuda Container Line and CEO of BF&M Limited, attended the Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme Commencement Ceremony earlier this year. Mr. Wight became familiar with the interests of Matthew and Tim when they mentioned their goals to pursue maritime industry career opportunities, specifically within the shipping business.
Mr. Wight stated: “I was very impressed with the both caliber of the course offered by Endeavour Community Sailing, and the dedication and drive of the young graduating Bermudians. Among the young men and women who shared comments about their experience and plans for the future, a couple of them expressed their interest in the shipping industry and in becoming captains of container vessels. I spoke to the leadership team at Neptune Group Ltd., who were delighted to welcome Matthew and Tim to the docks and take them on a tour of the Oleander.”
Mr. Wight added: “These are young people who are committed to deepening the knowledge and passion they have acquired through their exposure to sailing by seeking a future working in the maritime sector. It is tremendously satisfying to see companies and educational programmes working together to nurture young people’s enthusiasm and help them along the path to success.”
During their comprehensive tour, Matthew and Tim were exposed to the overall dock operations and gained an understanding of the types of containers and roll on – roll off trailering. The young Bermudians met some of the dockworkers during their visit and observed first-hand how the different team members worked effectively together, from Customs to the crane operators.
Then Mr. Brewer welcomed Matthew and Tim aboard the C.M.V. Oleander where they reviewed all onboard operations. This included the deck storage and RoRo operation on deck, and they dove down 3 stories into the engine room of the ship where they learned about the scale of the engineering workload to keep the vessel underway. They experienced the size and scale of the engine and the intensity of the noise and heat. The young men were impressed to see the amount of power required not only to propel the Oleander vessel to her 16kt hull speed but also to ensure that many of the Island’s refrigerated goods arrive at the correct temperature.
Next they enjoyed a tour of the command centre, and learned about the ballast systems, navigation, radar systems. Their tour concluded with a Q&A session with the Captain and Chief Engineer.
Matthew asked about failures whilst in operation, to which the Captain explained: “The dedicated crew are here to ensure that the C.M.V. Oleander runs smoothly at all times. If a cylinder needs replacing or electronics or navigation systems require fixing then the team is ready to be hands-on to solve problems”.
The Chief Engineer highlighted potential seafaring schools to Matthew and Tim and highlighted his career pathway which led to his role.
Matthew said, “I wish to thank everyone that arranged and supported the Oleander visit. I had an exceptional time learning about international shipping. I learned a lot about what I need to do as next steps in order to reach my goals. The highlight of my visit was going into the wheel room/bridge and learning about how they navigate and control the ship because I find that side of shipping very interesting.”
Tom Herbert-Evans, Endeavour Community Sailing’s Community Sailing Manager, joined Matthew and Tim during their educational tour.
He said, “It was awesome to see Matthew and Tim so engaged during the tour and asking Mr Brewer so many relevant questions. Mr. Brewer was very knowledgeable and created an inspiring experience for both young Bermudians who are still determining their specific career paths.
“We’re incredibly grateful for BF&M CEO John Wight and Neptune Group Limited CEO Barry Brewer for their personal commitment and ongoing support of Endeavour Community Sailing to support and encourage youth to pursue maritime industry careers.
“Department of Marine & Ports Pilot Warden Mario Thompson who serves on Endeavour Community Sailing’s Board is a large supporter of promoting Bermuda’s rich maritime heritage and connecting the Island’s youth with maritime careers.
“He’s a great advocate for supporting young Bermudians to seek maritime career opportunities such as working with Bermuda Container Line. From Superyachts to Cruise Ships, there is an abundance of opportunities available for young Bermudians who have a greater advantage than youth living in other countries around the world.”
Mr. Herbert-Evans added, “We’re thankful for the wonderful support from lead sponsor Orbis Investments, sponsors like BF&M Limited, and supporters like Neptune Group Management Limited. These partnerships enable Endeavour Community Sailing to increase access to experiential learning opportunities through sailing for young people in our community.
“We’re excited to welcome the next cohort of participants for the 2019 Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme and we’ll be inviting interested youth candidates to apply this fall. Anyone who is interested to learn more can email .”Back to News Archives
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