Experienced Hampshire sailor Katie Austen has been appointed as new office administrator at Drew Marine Signal and Safety, the world’s leading marine distress signal company.
Katie, 25, has taken part in tall ship races and was just four years old when she owned her first boat, so knows just how important it is for craft to carry marine distress signals.
She said: “I always enjoy sailing and being on the water. But when the swell gets up high it can be easy not to see someone in the water, so it is vital for vessels to carry marine safety signals to pinpoint their position if someone gets into difficulties. I always have flares, a whistle and torch on hand.”
Katie previously planned to join the Navy, but she now hopes to develop her career at Drew Marine Signal and Safety, based in Havant.
Katie has also worked at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, UK, has studied art and design and completed an engineering course.
As a young girl, she helped her uncle to repair boats and went on to sail in the Firefly national championships and competed in Tall Ship racing in the Hebrides.
Drew Marine Signal and Safety is the world’s leading supplier of marine distress signals and has manufacturing sites in Bremerhaven, Germany and Pamplona, Spain.
The business is headquartered in Havant, and has offices in Melbourne, Australia.
The company is a specialist in manufacturing, marketing and selling marine distress signals that are technically complex to produce and it has a strong, established global network of more than 200 distributors, all experts in the sale of Class One pyrotechnics.
Drew Marine Signal and Safety manufactures the world leading marine distress signals brands Comet, Pains Wessex and Aurora.
It sells to worldwide commercial and leisure marine markets.
Its products have been helping to save lives for more than 100 years and are specified by the world’s navies, merchant fleets, fishing vessels, rescue services, airlines and leisure craft.
Drew Marine Signal and Safety is at the forefront of campaigning for improved global marine safety regulations to ensure the safety of mariners throughout the world.