NASSAU, The Bahamas – Carlos Bain of Sandy Point, Abaco (second right), is off to sea on a Dockendale Shipping vessel. Pictured from left are Carlos’ father Jesse Bain, Dockendale’s Office Administrator Jamal Smith, Carlos, and Bahamas Maritime Authority Director Dudley Martinborough. (Photo by Raymond Bethel)
By Gladstone Thurston
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Two more young Bahamians have gone to sea on board Dockendale Shipping Company’s ocean-going bulkers to become qualified for their ratings licence.
Carlos Bain and Rashad Dorsett leave for New Orleans this weekend to join Dockendale’s ships Falcon and Mercury.
“It has been great,” said Bain, of Sandy Point, Abaco, on December 5, 2007. “I am familiar with boating and so everything just comes natural to me. I am enjoying it.”
Bain and Dorsett were among 10 Bahamians who recently received their Bridge Watchman certification after successfully completing their studies at the Marine Training Centre of Holland College, Canada.
Eight of the students were sponsored by Dockendale Shipping, as part of their thrust to make more Bahamians aware of the careers available in shipping.
The Bridge Watchman certificate is the initial qualification necessary for anyone to be employed on international vessels.
Forty-three Bahamians have been successful at Holland College as part of the Bahamas Maritime Cadet Corps (BMCC) programme of the Bahamas Maritime Authority.
The BMCC prepares high school students of grades 10 through 12 for employment in the maritime industry.
BMA Director Dudley Martinborough is co-ordinator of the programme. Paul Miller is the head trainer.
“Carlos and Rashad are very determined and enterprising young men,” said Jamal Smith, Dockendale’s Office Administrator. He takes care of the deployment of cadets for training on the Dockendale’s vessels.
“This is a field that is unexplored, as far as Bahamians are concerned; but once they are exposed to it they generally show a lot of interest in it,” said Smith. “We send them all over the world.”
Smith looked forward to the maritime industry rivaling the financial services sector.
Having received Bridge Watchman certification, Martinborough explained, the students are required by International Maritime Organisaton conventions to go to sea for at least two months. Dockendale has agreed to give them this sea time on board their ships.
When they return they can apply to the Bahamas Maritime Authority for a ratings licence.
They are required to work for another two to three years before returning to school for seven months to become second mate.
“We want to give the students as much quality experience as we possible can on board ships,” said Martinborough. “That bodes well for them in the future.
“The shipping industry has always been somewhat invisible. We don’t see it but it is there. Many jobs and opportunities are available for young Bahamians in the shipping industry.
“I have no doubt that our industry has lots of room to expand and improve.”