Senior pilot says serving Falmouth an 'honour' as he retires after 35 years (From This is The West Country)
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Senior pilot says serving Falmouth an 'honour' as he retires after 35 years
5:00pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Cornwall
Falmouth’s senior pilot Captain David Barnicoat officially retires on Saturday after 35 years in the job.
His last ship will be the ultra-luxurious cruise ship Seabourn Pride, a ship he has piloted before during his lengthy career.
David said: “Saturday will be a very, very emotional day for me. It has been an immense honour and |great privilege for me to serve the port of Falmouth for so long.
“I have been blessed with a 49 year long, action packed career that also has been my hobby since a young schoolboy. I haven’t really worked since leaving Falmouth Grammar School – it has been just one fabulous experience. I have the same passion for the sea and ships as when I first went to sea.”
Falmouth harbourmaster Mark Sansom said: “David has provided a great service to the port and been an outstanding advocate of the shipping industry during his long career as a pilot in Falmouth. His love of ships and the sea is transparent to everyone who meets him and he has provided a warm welcome to countless ship masters over the years.”
Jonathan Griffen of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall said: “David’s passion for all things Falmouth and maritime is legendary. He is an iconic character and works non-stop. We honour him. Can we put him in a case where we can bow down to him each morning and where we can find him when we have a question that needs an answer?”
Mike Reynolds, port operations director, and Peter Child, managing director of A&P Falmouth ship repair said: “On behalf of Falmouth Docks we all wish David a long and happy retirement. He has been a great pilot for us all in Falmouth, and must have docked |thousands of ships with A&P in his distinguished career.”
When the Seabourn Pride sails from the harbour it will be the end of an era in local pilotage as David is the only former Trinity House Falmouth pilot still working in the port.
David is co-author of a technical training manual on which all new pilots training is based. He joined the Trinity House pilots at Falmouth in 1979. Born in Falmouth, he is the port’s longest serving pilot with 35 years service under his belt during which time he has handled many of the world’s largest ships, tankers, oil rigs, cruise ships and tall ships. Since the formation of the Falmouth and District Pilot Boat Association |in 1887 only one other pilot has equalled David’s |service record.
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