Mike Cox

Ex RSL engineer Paul Deschamps gave me the heads-up regarding this site, so thought I'd sign up and add a few bits and pieces.
I joined RSL as a deck cadet in Sept 78 along with Pete Vaughan, Steve Broderick and Theo Bennett. Our first ship was the Maria ELISA under the command of Robin Stuart and later Jeff Birrell. The senior cadet was Dave Randell, who I noted has already posted a few photos from that mad trip.
I then continued my apprenticeship serving on the Vancouver, Devon, Port Alberni and Prince Rupert City before passing my Class 3 exams in March 82. Despite the risk of redundancy I was fortunate enough to be given a trip as third mate on the Devon City for 8 months, before being offered a permanent position within the company. Alas that didn't last too long and while I was studying for my mate's ticket with Pete VaugHan, Steve Broderick and Nick Boyce in Plymouth, the news filtered through that RSL had ceased trading. We were however able to see the course through and I then continued my sea career under the CSM banner. That proved to be quite a learning curve, but those old ships certainly helped to build up some good maintenance experience that helped in latter years with old wrecks in other companies.
The bitter end came along in the autumn of 95 when I left the Aya II in Southampton, thereby ending a 17 year relationship with Cardiff, commencing as cadet and terminating with two years as Master.

It therefore only took a few weeks to secure a job as mate with Swires and spent two good years with them touring around the Pacific Basin on small feeder vessels. I had some good times there and life at sea with Swires was similar in many ways to the early part of my career with RSL.
I was then tempted across to MidEast Ship Management in 1998 and sailed on two battered old Ro-Ro vessels that were described by former CSM chief engineer Chris Kirton as "alright". I'll never forgive him for that wildly exaggerated claim!! Those ships were bloody awful and far worse than anything that the Mexicans threw at us! Whilst there I noted that Capt Bellamy and C/E Keith Morgan had also served there, but had moved on pretty quickly. Can't say I blame them for that, as both ships and crew were very sub-standard. I saw it through for just two trips before moving on to Maersk Containers in Feb 1999, where I have been ever since, serving for two years as mate and the rest as Master.

I am currently serving on the Maersk Kensington, a 6100 teu container vessel on the Far East to SAF service. And the C/E is none other than Mr Paul Deschamps, or Gas as he was once known. Also on one of our sister vessels is second engineer Andy 'Stones' Hobin.
Glad to hear that many of the old RSL guys are still around and hope to connect with some of you in the future.
All the nest for now, Coxy

September 2011.