A WOMAN has been appointed skipper of ‘steamers’ on Windermere for the first time.
Dawn Jackson, 27, who joined Windermere Lake Cruises full-time nine years ago, has become ‘Master of the Ship’ following a rigorous series of interviews and practical tests set down by the Maritime Coastguard Agency.
It means she becomes one of eight staff who can take overall responsibility for the company’s three flagship vessels MV Tern, MV Teal and MV Swan.
She will be working predominantly on Teal, which carries more than 530 passengers, and is the largest steamer ever built for Windermere.
A member of the National Historic Fleet, the vessel also had the honour of welcoming Her Majesty the Queen and H.R.H The Princess Royal on board just 12 months ago.
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Now, Dawn will oversee the ship’s seven crew members and will ensure it runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
Originally employed as an ice cream seller, Dawn’s dad also had a long career with Windermere Lake Cruises and she has been closely involved with the boats all her life.
She has worked her way up to the new role, working most recently as a Mate Engineer, and even had her wedding reception on board Teal last year.
John Woodburn, Operations Director for Windermere Lake Cruises, said: “It’s always good to see staff working their way up through the ranks and of course, as the first ever female skipper for the ‘steamers’, it’s a particularly important milestone.
“Her new role is well-deserved!
Dawn said: “I love working on Windermere, right in the middle of the Lake District, and I’m so proud to be doing the job I do.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of being at the helm – the fantastic views, the people I work with and the fulfilment of helping to give visitors to the lake a great day out.”