Jamal Smith spent four months working on a chemical tanker that  travelled between Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and China. <em>*Photo supplied</em>
Jamal Smith spent four months working on a chemical tanker that travelled between Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and China. *Photo supplied
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Meet our next generation of seafarers

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8: As a child on his dad’s fishing boat Jamal Smith was always more interested in the mechanical side of things.

Now he is 26, has experienced pirates first hand and is well on the road to becoming a marine engineer.

In September 2008 Jamal enrolled at South Tyneside Marine College in northern England and graduated three years later with a Higher National Diploma in Marine Engineering.

He is now working for his Engineering Officer’s Watch Certificate at the same college that will allow him to work on any ship in the world as a 4th or 3rd mechanic.

So far the course has seen him work on board bulk carriers taking gypsum rock between Canada and the eastern seaboard of the US.

He also spent four months on a chemical tanker that travelled between Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and China.

Jamal said: “On this route our ship encountered pirates but we came out unscathed.

“The experiences I had on these ships will never be forgotten.  It was great and I got to see a lot of things most people wouldn’t see in a lifetime.

“I also saw firsthand how hard the engineer’s job really is. This was a real eye opener for me.

“However, I am glad I chose this career path and will continue on, in the near future, to obtain my 2nd engineer’s ticket and maybe even my chief engineer’s ticket.”