RED Funnel chief executive, Capt Fran Collins, has been awarded a Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service.

The news was announced this week by the Department for Transport.

Awarded to recipients who are serving, or have served, in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets of the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands, for exemplary services and devotion to duty, it recognises those who have set an outstanding example to others and made contributions in the areas of maritime safety, training, efficiency, welfare, and saving lives at sea.

This year’s medals will be awarded to 19 mariners across a range of categories.

The award coincides with Merchant Navy Day, which celebrates the vital role of Merchant Navy seafarers and the contribution they continue to make to the country, as well as their wartime service.

Ms Collins began her career as a dual cadet and sailed on deep-sea oil and gas tankers before going on to become the first female captain for Channel Islands operator, Condor Ferries.

She moved ashore in 2008 and was subsequently promoted to executive director, operations where she was responsible for ensuring service delivery to Channel Island communities, prior to commencing her current role as chief executive of Red Funnel in June, 2018.

Ms Collins Fran said: “It is a great honour to receive the news about the Merchant Navy Medal award, and on a day that celebrates the collective contribution that men and women have made, and continue to make, in British seafaring.

“I am particularly passionate about supporting and encouraging new generations into the maritime sector and to raise awareness of something that is so much a part of our nation’s heritage.

“I’ve been privileged to enjoy an incredibly rewarding career, both ashore and afloat, and am grateful to have amassed a wide variety of skills and experiences that could only come from being in this exciting and ever-changing sector, one that I hope I can encourage more young people to be a part of.”

She will be presented with her medal at a ceremony at Trinity House in November.

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