SIX new skippers will captain cruise vessels on Windermere.

Boat masters John Chattaway, Paul McCarthy, Harry Petrie, Olly Adair, Andrew McCormick and Charlie Higham have all joined Windermere Lake Cruises.

The skippers, which include a pilot, former military policeman and lift engineer, have all undergone three months of intense training in nautical skills, navigation, fire safety, first aid and knowledge of the lake. 

They have also been examined by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency before being licensed to work on passenger vessels.

Twenty-nine-year-old Olly, from Windermere, has spent 11 years working in outdoor education. 

He said: "I’ve always loved messing about on boats so this is the perfect job. I love getting out in the fresh air.

"My ambition is to be a full-time skipper in charge of my own vessel.”

Meanwhile, Charlie, a former yacht club member, spent years working in the hospitality industry before deciding it was time to look for something different. 

He explained: "When the opportunity came up to do this job, I wondered why I had never done it before. It’s a fantastic workplace.

"I used to work in hotels and bars where the view never changed. On a cruise vessel, the view is changing all the time.”

Former Environmental Health Officer, John, from Ulverston, called it the "best job in the world."

He said: "I’ve enjoyed messing about on boats since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. 

“I love the variety of this work. It’s great meeting lots of people and how can you not love working with these views?

"It’s the best job in the world.”

Windermere Lake Cruises currently operate 17 vessels on England’s longest lake, including three historic steamers.

Ian Wilkinson, HR manager at Windermere Lake Cruises, added: “I’d like to congratulate the newly qualified boat masters and I’m delighted they’ve taken up this great opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful locations in the country.

“They all started working with us as seasonal staff so it’s clear there are great opportunities for career progression within the tourism sector.

"We are delighted to have them on board.”