Medal for maritime captain who promotes safety after career-ending injury

A maritime captain who promotes seafarer safety after suffering a career-ending injury has been awarded a medal.

Captain Ewan Rattray, 37, from Aberdeen, is among 11 new recipients of the Merchant Navy Medal, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced.

His career as a shipping pilot was halted in 2019 when his leg was crushed while climbing a ladder to board a vessel.

While undergoing medical treatment and adapting to a desk job within the sector, he researched and campaigned for improved safety for those in his previous role.

This led the International Maritime Organisation to review the rules governing the safe movement of maritime pilots to and from vessels.

Captain Rattray has also written about his mental health struggles following the accident.

Merchant Navy Medals are awarded by the DfT for outstanding service by seafarers.

Captain Rattray said: “The maritime industry has always held a special place in my heart.

“To be awarded the Merchant Navy Medal is a great honour.

“There is a remarkable team of international pilots and seafarers, tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure the safety of maritime pilots.

“To be acknowledged for my contribution to this noble effort is a humbling experience.

“I personally faced an injury during my career as a maritime pilot, and it sparked a motivation within me to assist and contribute wherever I could.”

Another of the latest recipients of a Merchant Navy Medal is Katy Womersley, 45, from Glasgow.

She has championed diversity, managing hundreds of officer cadets and inspiring disadvantaged young people to pursue careers in the maritime sector.

Ms Womersley said: “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award.

“I have been inspired by so many great people in this industry, throughout my career at sea and ashore, who are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.

“I hope our conversations about diversity will transform into tangible actions and our commitment will pave the way for future generations of seafarers.”

Maritime minister Baroness Vere said: “I am delighted that 11 mariners, including Captain Rattray and Katy Womersley, have been selected to receive this very special honour.

“Their unwavering dedication, exemplary service and profound contributions have not only shown the UK’s maritime industry at its best, but also set an inspiring standard for others to follow.

“Their achievements are a testament to the exceptional talent and commitment present within our maritime sector.”