Six new skippers standing on the top deck of a maodern launch on Windermere

Magnificent six in cruise control!

Published: 19th May 2023
Categories: Media Release

Six new skippers are looking forward to captaining cruise vessels on one of England’s most beautiful lakes after coming through intense training with flying colours.

Among their ranks is a pilot, a former military policeman, environmental health officer and lift engineer. All have one thing in common – they love working in the Lake District!

Harry Petrie is adding Windermere Lake Cruises’ vessels to other forms of transport he can pilot including light aircraft and helicopters! He started his Windermere Lake Cruises career as a seasonal crew worker last summer.

“When the opportunity came up to train as a Boat Master I leapt at it,” says Harry who is 33 and originally from Lincolnshire. “I have always loved the Lake District and what better place to work. When I told my Dad there was an opportunity to actually work here he said I’d be a fool not to go for it!”

A modern launch on Lake Windermere

29-year-old Olly Adair, from Windermere, has spent 11 years working as in outdoor education teaching skills in powerboating, kayaking, climbing and sailing. “I’ve always loved messing about on boats so this is the perfect job. I love getting out in the fresh air. My ambition is to be a full-time skipper in charge of my own vessel.”

Charlie Higham spent years working in the hospitality industry before deciding it was time to look for something different. As a yacht club member, he has a lot of experience sailing on Windermere. “When the opportunity came up to do this job I wondered why I had never done it before - It’s a fantastic workplace! I used to work in hotels and bars where the view never changed. On a cruise vessel the view is changing all the time!”

Andrew McCormick, from Fleetwood in Lancashire, served for 15 years as a military policeman in the RAF. “I started seasonal work here last year as a time-filler really as I planned to join the merchant navy. But I fell in love with the place and don’t want to leave! It’s great being paid to skipper a vessel around one of the most beautiful lakes in the country!”

John Chattaway is a former environmental health officer from Ulverston and fell in love with working on Windermere after starting as seasonal staff a year ago. “I’ve enjoyed messing about on boats since I was knee high to a grasshopper!” says John. “I love the variety of this work. It’s great meeting lots of people and how can you not love working with these views? It’s the best job in the world!”

Paul McCarthy moved up to the Lake District 16 years ago. He’s originally from Luton and previously worked as telecoms engineer and lift engineer. “I love the outdoors and the countryside so this is the perfect job. You don’t find many workplaces with views like this!”

All the new Boat Masters have undergone three months of intense training in nautical skills, navigation, fire safety, first aid and knowledge of the lake. They are then examined by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency before being licenced to work on passenger vessels.

Ian Wilkinson, HR manager at Windermere Lake Cruises, says: “I’d like to congratulate the newly qualified Boat Masters and I’m delighted they’ve taken up this great opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful locations in the country.

“They all started working with us as seasonal staff so it’s clear there are great opportunities for career progression within the tourism sector. We are delighted to have them on board.”

An aerial photo of Windermere

If you'd like to follow in our new Boat Masters' footsteps, then we start recruiting around February each year for seasonal staff.

Take a look at our recruitment section of the website early in 2024 for more details.

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