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Wednesday, 27th June, 2018 4:22pm

The achievements of young graduates of the Young Mariner Program were celebrated recently in Kinsale.

12 talented students celebrated completing the program at an exclusive event at the Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre (OEC) in Cork’s stunning coastal town earlier this month.

The nine-month outdoor education course put students through their paces as they took part in challenges like sailing, sea and river kayaking, open canoeing, power boat driving, wilderness first aid, campcraft and ancillary skills such as navigation and sea safety.

The students also undertook the Gaisce Bronze Award, which focused primarily on their skills training and coastal clean-up and environmental awareness.

This year’s students were a part of the very first instalment of the program and experienced a wide variety of marine-related skills training and certification, along with opportunities to strengthen their personal development as teenagers.

The celebration event incorporated a tour of Kinsale OEC for those in attendance, followed by the graduation ceremony at the Trident Hotel.

Jon Hynes, Acting Director of Kinsale OEC, who conceived the programme, said: “While the priority of the Young Mariner Program is to teach young people the importance of water safety, how to operate water-based transport and how to respect the sea in all senses of the word, I think I speak for teachers and students alike when I say we have enjoyed each and every step of the journey. I hope that our young graduates can hold their heads high in the knowledge that they have gained some incredibly important skills that will stand to them in endless ways in their future endeavours.”

John Fitzgibbons, Director of Further Education and Training at Cork Education and Training Board (CETB), added: “We are always conscious of meeting the demand for both desirable fields of study and sector-specific skills and the Young Mariner Program undoubtedly falls under both of these categories. During the course, the students visited the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy to explore future opportunities in the Marine sector, so we hope they will carry this inspiration with them as they continue their educational journey.”

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