All hands on deck for Blu Marine

Blu Marine contract manager Spencer Williams with Belfast Met student and Cayetano Rodriguez and James Kerlin project director of the Mets Manufacturing Skills for Industry Programme.
Blu Marine contract manager Spencer Williams with Belfast Met student and Cayetano Rodriguez and James Kerlin project director of the Mets Manufacturing Skills for Industry Programme.

A student from Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) Foundry has teamed up with local ship refurbishment company Blu Marine to produce unique cast parts for the restoration of HMS Caroline, which will be open to the public in June this year.

Seville-born Cayetano Rodriguez, who is currently taking part in the Met’s Manufacturing Skills for Industry Programme, manufactured a porthole, porthole ring, porthole handles and a scupper for the unique project, under the direction of Ken Barr, Lecturer in Foundry Practice.

Cayetano, who is passionate about the marine industry, has sailed, worked as part of a crew and repaired small ships in a workshop in the north of Girona.

He has also been offered work placement at the award-winning Blu Marine.

HMS Caroline, a light weight cruiser, served in World War One during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. The ship, which is docked in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, will shortly be restored to her former glory and will be open to visitors from June this year.

Dr James Kerlin, Project Director of Belfast Met’s Manufacturing Skills for Industry Programme, said: “We are delighted to be working so closely with such a leading marine refurbishment company as Blu Marine and to be able to respond to its particular requirements, through the Programme and the Foundry.”

Craig McCoo, MD of Blu Marine, said: “Cateyano has proven he has a passion for ship refurbishment and the relevant skills for the job. He is a welcome addition to the team working on the refurbishment of HMS Caroline.

“We are committed to supporting talent from our local education providers and the partnership between Blu Marine and Belfast Met is one which will pay dividends to the tourism sector in Northern Ireland.”