VIDEO: Prince Charles meets the fisherman and sailors of the future during north-east visit

The Duke of Rothesay visited the north-east to meet the fisherman and sailors of the future and turned his hand to piloting a trawler into port – in a student simulator.

Princes Charles arrived at the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead shortly after 12pm and was greeted by the local unit of Sea Cadets.

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Senior staff from the academy showed the prince around the South Road campus and the future king spoke to students from classes studying electronic charts, traditional map work and navigation, and rope skills.

He was also given the chance to helm a vessel in the academy’s simulation room. Students of all ages studying at the academy are now revising for exams which will be held in three weeks.

Prince Charles joked: “I’ve arrived at just the wrong time.”

The prince last visited the academy in 1997 when he dedicated a plaque to “the memory of all those of Buchan who have lost their lives at sea”.

Academy principal and chief executive Liz McIntyre said: “It’s great for the people here to have the profile of the causes and the skills raised. The academy is vital not just for the fishing industry but also for the merchant navy.

“He remembered as soon he arrived that he has been here before. We showed him the plaque.”

Meanwhile, his day began with a visit to Thainstone House Hotel to join a Fishing into the Future training course at the hotel.

Prince Charles at Thainstone House. Picture by Jim Irvine
Prince Charles at Thainstone House.
Picture by Jim Irvine

The pilot scheme has been launched with the support of the prince to encourage future generations of fishermen to have a better understanding of the science behind sustainable fishing.

The duke sat in on a presentation alongside about 25 delegates and fishermen from the industry.

Among them were father and son Mark and Adam Robertson from Gardenstown.

The pair are part of a five-strong crew which operates a white fish and prawn trawler out of Fraserburgh.

Mark, 50, said the prince had shown a great interest in whether the course was proving valuable for the industry.

“It’s very important for us to understand the science and to be able to know the reason behind the quota figures,” he said.

“It’s crucial to have someone like the prince taking an interest to raise the profile of the course, it’s great to have him here. He was very friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him.”

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