Memorial award for fisheries student

Memorial award for fisheries student

Honouring the legacy of two lives lost at sea, the annual ‘Squax’ Squires Memorial Award was presented to Adam Stevenson at the NMIT Te Pūkenga International Maritime Institute of New Zealand.
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This year’s ‘Squax’ Squires Memorial Award goes to Adam Stevenson (third from left rear). He was chosen by his fellow students as the hardest-working member of the New Zealand Diploma in Fishing vessel Operations (Level 6) at NMIT Te Pūkenga.

The award is given to the hardest working member of the New Zealand Diploma in Fishing Vessel Operations (Level 6), with the recipient chosen by the students.

Course tutor Phil Pinniger says the choice is based on the qualities of a good ship’s mate and recognises an individual’s hard work, and the respect of their colleagues.

Originally from Gore, Adam works for Austral Fisheries, one of Australia's largest commercial fishing companies, where he is 2nd Mate on the long-lining vessel Isla Eden, built especially for catching Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean.

At an informal gathering Adam was presented with an engraved Leatherman multitool, and he paid tribute to his fellow classmates saying, ‘everyone on the course was deserving of the award’ and they would be friends for life. He also thanked the tutors for ‘having me.’

The award is named after the late Peter Richard ‘Squax’ Squires, an experienced skipper from Te Anau who lost his life on the notorious Greymouth Bar in 2000.

Crewman Roy Connor, 26, of Nelson, also drowned when their fishing boat, Koromiko was rolled over by a wave and swamped while attempting to cross the bar.

The Koromiko was washed ashore, but upon inspection, experts assessed the boat to be beyond repair. Through Sunderland Marine Insurance, his widow, Mary Squire, agreed to put the vessel up for tender.

Money raised from the sale of the boat was put into a trust, and an award in Squax Squire’s memory was created.

The diploma is an intensive 25-week programme covering topics such as: astro-navigation, ocean meteorology, vessel stability and navigational aids. It leads to Maritime New Zealand’s certificate of competency for Mate Fishing Vessel Unlimited.

Find out more about our maritime programmes. (external link)

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The 2023 ‘Squax’ Squires Memorial Award recipient, Adam Stevenson.
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