This year to celebrate the Marine Society & Sea Cadet’s birthday as well as ‘International Day of the Seafarer’ we are sharing the story of Abigail. An ex-sea cadet who now works in the Merchant Navy.
“My name is Abbie Sanders. I joined Sea Cadets as a junior in 2008, as soon as I was old enough. Then I worked my way up to Leading Cadet over the 8 years I was there.
“I thoroughly enjoyed and embraced my time at Sea Cadets and I am 100% certain that my current position and future was shaped during my time as a cadet.
“I was surrounded by enthusiastic and motivating staff that encouraged me to strive for my goals; one of which was becoming a dinghy instructor, which involved working abroad. The second goal was joining the Merchant Navy.
In 2014, Sea Cadets helped me to obtain my RYA dinghy instructor certificate. This allowed me to train other cadets, get a summer job working at home, and then abroad in Malta age 16.
This could have been quite daunting at a young age; going to live and work in a foreign country for a summer, but the skills and confidence I gained at Sea Cadets help me achieve my potential.
“This set me up well for my next adventure. Joining the Merchant Navy! The staff at Marine Society & Sea Cadets talked about careers at sea and encouraged me to embark on a Merchant Navy Deck Officer Cadetship!
“In 2016, I left home and went to study at Warsash Maritime Academy.
Thanks to Marine Society & Sea Cadets, doing a Merchant Navy Cadetship meant a shipping company (in my case Trinity House) paid for all my costs and paid for my training. It beats getting into student debt!
Trinity house also provided me with ship placements during my cadetship.
“I have worked on two cruise ships, a tall ship, a superyacht and a buoy tender. By doing this, I travelled the world and visited nearly 25 countries including Australia, Seychelles, India, Norway and more!
During this time, I have learnt such valuable skills. I am excited to go back to my unit; to share my knowledge and show cadets how being a sea cadet can take us so far in life”.
- Abbie Sanders