Maritime student’s determination recognised with Rotary award

September 25, 2022

An award winning North East Scotland College student is setting a course towards further success as he embarks on the next leg of his training journey.

Gytis Kontrimas, a current student at the College’s Scottish Maritime Academy, was presented with the 2022 Rotary Endeavour Award at this year’s Fraserburgh Campus graduation ceremony on Saturday (24 September).

He is currently in his final year of a three- year cadetship that he began in 2020 through Stream Marine Training, sponsored by Solstad Offshore.

Gytis is originally from Lithuania. He taught himself English by watching TV and achieved his HND in Computing at NESCol’s Fraserburgh Campus before changing career course and taking a very different direction.

He said: “It all began with the 12-week Trainee Deckhand course offered at the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead.

“I attended a talk on cadetships in the Merchant Navy and this seemed to offer lots of opportunities. I have just successfully completed my HNC in Nautical Science and I am now on my final sea phase before returning to College to complete my Officer of the Watch exams.”

From the very beginning, Gytis demonstrated determination to tackle any challenge head on. He started phase one during the Covid pandemic, when online learning was prominent.

His family had returned to Lithuania so he lived alone, relying on his training allowance and savings as part-time job opportunities were limited due to Covid.  He also faced long days due to the amount of time spent travelling to Peterhead.

His lecturers have been so impressed with him, praising his positive attitude and outstanding work ethic.

The Rotary Endeavour Award is not the only accolade Gytis has earned during his time at the SMA. He was also nominated for the Bevis Minter award sponsored by Nautilus International at the UK Maritime Awards.

The award recognises tenacity and persistence through adversity and Gytis was delighted to attend the event at the Glasgow Science Centre earlier this year. Although he did not win on the night, Gytis was delighted to have been shortlisted at the prestigious event.

Gytis, currently working at sea, accepted the award from Rotary representative Ann Bell earlier this month.