Master Scillonian makes his last trip

Scillonian III marked the end of an era on Sunday (November 6) as Petty Officer Pete Crawford made his final voyage from St Mary’s to Penzance after 39 seasons on board.

Crawford, 60, will retire in January after covering approximately 666,000 miles on the Scillonian III – more than 30 times around the world.

It is estimated to have made over 9,000 round trips to the islands and carried over two million passengers.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked aboard such an iconic and beloved ship,” he said. “I want to thank the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company for giving me this opportunity, and the crew of the Scillonian past and present. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Crawford, who lives in Penzance with his wife Angie, joined Scillonian in 1983 as a 22-year-old radio officer. His first job was to collect tickets from passengers on the bridge.

With the support of the company, Crawford studied for his bridge tickets and in 1992 became the chief officer of Scillonian III, before taking over in 2002.

Islanders showed up to greet and applaud as he left St Mary’s for the last time on Sunday, with flags spelling “Thank You Pete 39” unfurled from the mast of the Scillonian III. He was greeted on his arrival in Penzance by his colleagues from the Steamship Company at attention on the quayside, the fire hoses of the cargo ship Gry Maritha spraying in the air and a surprise party at the Queen’s Hotel, which ‘he described as “both humiliating and moving”.

Stuart Reid, Managing Director of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, said, “On behalf of the company, I would like to warmly thank Pete for nearly four decades of dedicated and unwavering service.

“Pete’s support and commitment to the Steamship Company has been nothing short of exceptional. His hard work and abundant knowledge is respected not only by our passengers and employees, but also by the communities of Penzance and the Isles of Scilly in which he has developed an extremely close connection. Pete will be sadly missed by all at the Steamship Company and will always be welcome aboard the Scillonian III. “

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About Marco C. Nichols

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