Next generation of UK seafarers benefit from North Star Renewables’ sustainability initiative

Source: press release, 27 September 2021

North Star Renewables SOV operations director, Steve Myers
North Star Renewables SOV operations director, Steve Myers (photo: North Star)

North Star Renewables is set to donate more than GBP 25,000 of spare shipping equipment to support the next generation of cadets, seafarers and fishermen in the UK as part of its new sustainability programme.

As colleges across the UK returned to the classroom last week, students at South Shields Marine School in South Tyneside College have become the first to benefit from North Star’s plans to recycle its unused and surplus kit from across its operations. The educational facility received two outboard engines, control units and manuals to supplement their upcoming engineering courses, AEC I & II/Small Vessel.

Based throughout the UK, in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft, North Star Renewables is part of the North Star Group which also comprise North Star Shipping and Boston Putford. The group has been operating in the North Sea for 135 years and currently supports around 50 offshore installations in the UK Continental Shelf.

Earlier this year, the renewables division won its first contract to build its first three service offshore vessels (SOVs) for the UK’s growing offshore wind market.

North Star Renewables SOV operations director, and former South Shields Marine School student, Steve Myers says, “As an organisation with a large fleet of 44 offshore vessels and 63 daughter craft, we’re constantly investing in new technologies and replacement equipment to ensure safe and efficient ongoing operations of our vessels for our clients.”

“As part of our sustainability strategy, our business is committed to caring for the environment and taking steps to affect positive change in our local communities. Donating our redundant equipment straddles both these objectives and I’m particularly pleased to see the South Shields Marine School getting on board first to enhance the learning experience for its students and our next generation of seafarers,” Myers adds.

Anthony Bull, head of school for marine engineering at South Shields Marine School says, “It was fantastic to hear from South Shields alumni, Steve Myers about donating kit to the school.”

“We run a number of courses which involve practical, hands-on experience and the generous donation of real-life equipment means that our students can get up close to the machinery and materials being used by the industry. Being able to incorporate this type of equipment into our learning enables us to attract and retain a high standard of students – and set them up for a life ‘at sea’,” Bull continues.

Following on from this initial donation, North Star will continue the relationship with the college, as well as supporting other schools, colleges and universities, and community organisations across the UK looking for similar resources.

The company has a broad range of such equipment ranging from RIBs (rigid inflatable boat), rescue boats and engines, to ship’s safety equipment, as well as supplies of casting nets which could be repurposed by local fisherman.

In addition, surplus personal protective equipment (PPE) deck suits from across North Star’s operations have been passed on to the Scottish White Fish Producer Association (SWPFA). As the largest fishing association in Europe, the PPE suits will be distributed for use throughout Scotland.

Myers adds, “Ultimately, we’re really keen to support those communities and organisations that have always supported us so well. I feel passionately that we have a duty to support the career development of those seafarers already afloat and inspire the future generations this industry needs.”