Watch: the youngest Shields Ferry skipper for more than three decades

Shields Ferry skipper Nathan Williamson
23 July 2019

Meet the youngest Shields Ferry skipper for more than 30 years.

Nathan Williamson is captain of the iconic cross-Tyne passenger service at the age of 22.

Nathan, of North Shields, is already a volunteer for the Tynemouth Lifeboat and had long been keen on a maritime career. His dad was in the merchant navy.

He said: “It’s a big honour and a big responsibility for somebody my age but I can do the job just as well as anyone else, so age doesn’t matter. I love the job.

“To get this far I have had to pass what is called a boat master’s licence. You have to pass many courses – firefighting, first aid, sea survival, radio and radar, and emergency procedures. You have to know where everything is on the boat.

“There is a test at the end and it is a bit like the driving test you take in a car. You have to show that you are competent to take the boat out on the water. They test you on man overboard drills and berthing the boat with one engine.”

He added: “The best thing about the job is being able to drive the ferry across the Tyne every day.”



Ferry Skipper Nathan Williamson

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