UK honours pilot for advocating safety after life-changing injury

UK Captain was among the seafarers honoured for advocating safety following life-changing injury.

The UK government has unveiled the 2023 recipients of the Merchant Navy Medal.

Ewan Rattray champions safety in the wake of a life-changing accident.

Captain Rattray’s life took an unexpected turn in 2019 when a severe injury brought his career as a pilot to an abrupt halt.

While boarding the ship via the pilot ladder, his leg was crushed forcing him to navigate a complex journey of surgeries and healthcare, while also adapting to a new desk role within the maritime sector.

Undeterred by these daunting obstacles, Captain Rattray has researched and campaigned for five years for improved safety in the marine pilotage sector.

This has led the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to review the rules governing the safe transfer of maritime pilots to and from vessels.

He has also helped to break the stigma of mental health by openly writing about his struggles following the accident.

Among the 2023 recipients of the Merchant Navy Medal for significant contributions to the maritime industry is an operational director for a maritime training company, recognised for her vigorous advocacy for diversity within the industry.

Katy Womersley, recipient of the Merchant Navy Medal award, has championed diversity within the maritime sector by inspiring disadvantaged young people to pursue careers within the sector.

UK honours pilot for advocating safety after life-changing injury

She has dedicated her entire career to drive forward seafarer training and improve sector diversity, and she has managed hundreds of officer cadets, in accordance with UK´s department of transport.

Katy Womersley has supported charities, including the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation, helping to organise events aimed at offering children opportunities to gain maritime experience.

She also advocates for women within maritime and organised the first Women in Maritime forums in Scotland alongside Maritime UK.

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.”