Sunderland Marine Catches up with Whitby Fishing School Apprentice of the Year on his Burgeoning Career

The introduction of new trainees is vital to the sustainability of the industry and is an important focus area for Sunderland Marine. The Newcastle-based international insurer of fishing vessels continues to build upon its relationships with fishing colleges, lending its support towards courses for trainee fishermen.

Ciaran Gilmore had “never even met a fisherman” when he first embarked on training at Whitby & District Fishing Industry Training School. Originally from Manchester, Ciaran comes from a line of joiners and after leaving school, he too initially took up the family trade. However, he soon discovered it wasn’t for him and set his sights on something completely new.

12 months later, Ciaran had successfully completed his apprenticeship and was nominated for the Apprentice of the Year (Seafishing) Award, which is sponsored each year by Sunderland Marine.

Craig McBurnie, Marine Underwriting Manager, who presented Ciaran with the award last November said, “Sunderland Marine is committed to supporting the training of new fishermen and has a long-standing relationship with Whitby Fishing School. It is always a pleasure to be able to recognise the success of young fishermen at the beginning of their career.”

As well as supporting new trainees’ entry to fishing, Sunderland Marine uses its strong connections with fishing colleges to promote high safety standards for crew on board. Its illustrated guide Safe Out, Safe Home is a popular safety resource for new crew and the company also continues to sponsor new safety training equipment for colleges.

Ciaran’s career continues to go from strength to strength: he has recently completed his Bridge Watch-keeping course and Under 16.5m Skippers Ticket and is enjoying his new working life on board the Summer Rose. He doesn’t miss the daily Manchester commute and is settling into life in Scarborough, travelling to the west coast of Scotland, the Irish Sea and the coast of France with the Summer Rose.

What advice does Ciaran have for other young people considering a career in fishing? “Just go and give it a try,” he urges. “There is good money to be made, especially in comparison to apprenticeships and I am learning all the time.” He describes his time at Whitby Fishing School very positively as a “completely different experience” to school and the usual post-16 educational routes. He enjoyed the practical experience gained from working with a skipper and going out on the boat every day but warns that you have to be keen to work – or you won’t last the early mornings!

When asked about his future, Ciaran’s plans are to continue his fishing career. He wants to try trawling for fish and have the experience of taking his own boat out. One day, he would like to work somewhere warmer and he is already dreaming of life as a fisherman off the coast of New Zealand

Fishing colleges or training programmes which would like copies of Sunderland Marine’s ‘Safe Out Safe Home’ guide for new crew should get in touch with Katherine Clifford: 0191 232 5221,


The Summer Rose, of the Star Fishing Company.


For further information contact: Katherine Clifford +44 191 232 5221

Note to editors
Sunderland Marine is the leading international insurer of fishing vessels, aquaculture and angling lakes risks with over 8,000 policyholders worldwide. Established in 1882, the Standard and Poor’s A-rated company is based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with regional offices in Australia and New Zealand and, trading as Harlock Murray Underwriting, in Canada. The company became part of North Group in 2014 following a merger with global marine mutual North P&I Club, which also has offices and subsidiaries in China (Hong Kong and Shanghai), Greece, Ireland, Japan, Singapore and USA. Sunderland Marine’s qualified and knowledgeable teams of underwriters, surveyors and claims staff ensure clients are provided with high levels of service and comprehensive insurance policies. The company is also at the forefront of promoting safety at sea and regularly contributes to and sponsors training programmes in the UK and overseas. For more information, please visit Sunderland Marine’s website at