Nautical college gets Royal Seal of Approval

Pictures Martin Bostock'The Princess Royal visits Fleetwood Nautical College.
Pictures Martin Bostock'The Princess Royal visits Fleetwood Nautical College.

FOR a member of a family steeped in the sea, it was the perfect visit.

The Princess Royal set the seal on major improvements to Fleetwood Campus and at the same time got to pursue her own maritime interests.

After dropping in by helicopter yesterday, she demonstrated her personal knowledge, some of it gleaned as President of the Royal Yachting Association and Master of the Board of Trinity House, the organisation which looks after the nation’s lighthouses and navigational markers.

Among the students she met on her tour was Robert Gorry, 25, of Acregate, Blackpool, who was working in the radio room as part of deck officer’s course.

He said: “She already seemed to have some knowledge although the equipment here is a lot more sophisticated than it used to be.

“She seemed keen to learn about it and I explained how easy it was to use – once you know how!”

Alongside him was Jack Bottomley, 24, from Kirkby Lonsdale, who said: “When she came in the room it all seemed quite normal but when she started talking to you, you began to realise who it was.

“She knew what the equipment was about and asked how we found it.

“She was interested and spoke straight to the point.”

One of the highlights of the visit was to the ship’s bridge simulator which allows students to navigate in and out of sea ports all over the world in every kind of sea condition.

Among those she met was Capt Sylvester Owobu, 49, who had come from Nigeria for a week’s refresher course and had a day’s warning that he would be meeting royalty.

He said: “She is a lovely lady.

“She was very impressive.

“She had seen another simulator before but she was more impressed with this one, it was really something to remember.”

For the full story and more pictures, see this week’s Weekly News