Young Tristanians are undertaking intense conservation-related training across England during summer 2024.

Young Ocean Champions in the UK

Report and Photos from Tristan Administrator Philip Kendall

My 2024 trip to the UK fortuitously coincided with a visit of our four Young Ocean Champions, who are currently in the UK for an intensive summer period of training. The youngsters, Kieran, Ryan, Shannon and Tristan are accompanied by Trevor Glass, our Head of Conservation. They will take the skills they learn back to Tristan in September and put them to good use in ensuring the integrity of our Marine Protection Zone.

Photo taken at the RYA Training Centre overlooking Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft in Suffolk.
Left to right: Kieran Glass, Tristan Glass, Administrator Philip Kendall, Head of Conservation Trevor Glass, Shannon Swain and Ryan Swain.

The first part of this training involves activities on land and water, and will include: Powerboat training, navigation, VHF radio, diesel maintenance, first aid, personal survival techniques, communication and leadership skills. As luck would have it, this training is taking place at the Marine Education RYA Training Centre in Corton, near Lowestoft, Suffolk. Just one hour’s drive from my UK home, so I went to see them during their navigation lesson on 4th June. All looked well and the trainer told me that the students were diligently following the course, though I’m not sure the calm waters of Oulton Broad are a good training ground for the South Atlantic swell. 

Inside the Corton RYA Training Centre.
Left to right, Shannon Swain, Kieran Glass, Tristan Glass, Trevor Glass, Ryan Swain and a RYA instructor.

The next stage of training will take the Champions to Southampton, where they will continue their open water and rescue diving training, which began on Tristan. We have only one fully qualified diver on island, so four more will be very welcome, and necessary for the work that is needed.

The final stage of training will be in Plymouth where the four youngsters will attend a marine science camp – essential for their better understanding of the MPZ.

None of the above would be possible without the support of CEFAS, the RSPB and the Blue Belt Programme. We are grateful to them for giving the Young Champions this amazing opportunity.

Left: Planning a route using an Admiralty Chart