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Red Funnel CEO officially awarded Merchant Navy Medal

Fri, Nov 8 2019

Red Funnel Ferries’ CEO, Captain Fran Collins, was awarded a 2019 Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service at an official ceremony held on Wednesday 6th November at Trinity House in London.

The prestigious ceremony was attended by a number of distinguished guests including HRH The Princess Royal and Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Maritime.

The award recipients were announced on Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September, a day to celebrate the vital role of Merchant Navy seafarers and the contribution they continue to make to the country, as well as their wartime service.

This year’s medals were awarded to a total of 20 mariners across a range of categories, recognising their exemplary services and devotion to duty that have set an outstanding example to others and contributed to the maritime industry.

Fran Collins was awarded for her services to the marine passenger sector. She started her career as a dual cadet and sailed on deep-sea oil and gas tankers. Following time working in the cable-laying industry she then became the first female captain for Channel Islands operator, Condor Ferries. In 2008, she moved ashore and was subsequently promoted to Executive Director of Operations commencing her current role as CEO of Red Funnel in June 2018. She is especially passionate about making a sea-going career more attractive and accessible to all as well as fully committed to increasing diversity in shipping.

After receiving the award, which was presented by HRH The Princess Royal, Fran commented: “Receiving the Merchant Navy Medal is an incredible honour and one of the proudest moments of my career. I have been inspired by the achievements of previous recipients, so to now be part of this group is somewhat surreal and a huge privilege.

I am very proud of the UK’s maritime industry and am deeply committed to encouraging our young people, especially women, to consider it as a career. Those of us in shipping have a responsibility to improve perceptions of it as it is a rewarding, dynamic and exciting career choice, especially given the range of options across many aspects of shipping and its supporting industries, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities and support offered to me throughout my career in the Merchant Navy.


For further information regarding Red Funnel, please contact:

Lisa Norman or Kirsti Pawlowski at McKenna Townsend

T: 01425 472330

E: [email protected]

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.  In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.  The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s 2019 Charity of the Year is Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight.

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