We wanted a company name which represents what we stand for: Inspiration, integrity, courage, self-belief, passion and drive. Eileen came up with Amastra. Here’s her story.
“I started my working career by joining the Merchant Navy as a Deck Cadet at Shell Tankers. Shell had never employed female Deck Officers and were breaking new ground by offering me a cadetship.
My training lasted 4 years, combining shore based theory work with time at sea gaining practical knowledge of ship operations. I sailed on oil tankers: Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC’s), Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tankers, product tankers and Oil / Bulk / Ore vessels (OBO’s) carrying petrol, diesel, benzene, lubrication oils, and vegetable oils.
I trained at Cardiff College of Nautical Science, passing my Officer exams and returned to sea on the Amastra.
The Amastra, the second Shell Tanker of that name, was built in 1958 in Smiths dock, Teesside UK (the first Amastra was built in 1935). She carried lubricating oil, fuel oil, and molasses with each tank on board carrying a different parcel of cargo. The Amastra had a long history including being holed by a mine in 1967, spending weeks in dry-dock for maintenance and repair work. She was scrapped in Chittagong, India in 1985.
I sailed on the Amastra for 7 months, finishing my cadetship and becoming 3rd Officer. I took the watch on the bridge at sea, and held the cargo watch whilst the vessel was in port. Shell Tankers had the courage to employ its first girl Deck Cadet. The training I received gave me the strength and self belief to succeed. Amastra gave me the confidence to believe that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.”