Nautilus Young Maritime Professional Forum member Bari Khan is cycling from London to Paris to give ‘something back’ to one of the Union’s partner organisations which helped give him a step up in his seafaring career.
Mr Khan is pedalling a gruelling three-day 180m Paris cycle ride on 25 August in support of the Marine Society — which, with Nautilus, manages the JW Slater Fund training scholarship scheme — and its sister charity the Sea Cadets. He said he chose the two organisations because they ‘do fantastic work in helping seafarers’.
After working at sea as a fourth engineer, Mr Khan said he benefitted from being steered by the Union towards the Marine Society — which awarded him the Worcester Scholarship to help offset the costs of studying towards higher education. That funding meant he was able to return to Warsash Maritime Academy at Southampton Solent University, where he gained a BEng (Hons) in marine engineering and management. In October 2014, while completing his dissertation, he was taken on by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, where he completed a two-year graduate programme to qualify as a marine surveyor and he now specialises in surveying fishing vessels, small craft and technical audits. He hopes to go back to sea in 2019 and complete a chief engineer’s ticket.
Mr Khan said he had also seen other seafaring friends’ careers improve after help from the Slater Fund, including one friend who converted from a deck officer fishing ticket to a deck officer of the watch unlimited with the scholarship. The Slater Fund — which is in its 40th anniversary year — was launched by the Union in 1977 and named after a former general secretary.
In training for the London to Paris ride, Mr Khan will also cycle The Big Ride — a 44-mile pedal from Liverpool to Manchester on Friday 4 August — which marks the anniversaries of a series of Middle Eastern conflicts and raises funds for the rehabilitation of traumatised children in Gaza.
While Mr Khan is no stranger to long cycle rides — he regularly rides 100miles ‘for fun’ — he agreed that completing the Paris ride would be extra special, as he has just got the doctor’s all-clear from a severe bout of glandular fever.
Thursday, August 03, 2017