Winter 2014-15

Merchant Navy medal for John Grant

Every year the Merchant Navy singles out seafarers who are judged to have made a worthwhile contribution to merchant shipping, its operations, development, personnel, welfare or safety, or who have performed an act of courage afloat.

Only 20 medals are awarded, and this year, special recognition was given to John Grant for his role in training officer cadets on the JF Everard tanker, Galway Fisher. John, 64, has spent the last 35 years working for James Fisher – he is only the second member of James Fisher staff to have received this prestigious award.

“I am proud and honoured. There aren’t as many Brits at sea as there used to be – so I’m keen to keep the tradition up!”

Says John.

On board the Galway Fisher (which ships white oils, diesel and kerosene to Galway in Ireland) John is a very hands-on member of the team in charge of loading and discharging as well as looking after the safety of the crew.

But the role that has singled him out for commendation is his skill and dedication at training cadets. He is very highly respected among his colleagues, and happily passes his wealth of knowledge – accumulated after 51 years at sea - onto his students.

“I get cadets at all different stages of knowledge and skill, and teach them about ropes, maintenance on deck, then on the bridge I teach all about navigation and safety”

John explains. Although John works on the Galway Fisher as chief mate, everyone – out of respect – calls him captain Grant in recognition of how much he has given to the company and industry.

John adds:

“I am committed to continuing to train the next generation of seafarers – it would be great to see the Merchant Navy flourishing when I come to retire. I really enjoy this job, and as long as the ship runs and I pass the medicals, we’ll stay together.”

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