Shields Ferry hires first woman crew member
The Shields Ferry has hired its first female crew member.
Ferry operators Nexus said slow staff turnover and few previous female applicants meant Nicola Peach was the first woman to be hired as second mate.
Ms Peach, from Marsden, South Shields, worked on cargo ships and oil tankers in the Merchant Navy for eight years.
She said: "I'm used to driving ships. The ferry is vastly different of course, but I've got the hang of it really quickly."
Becoming the first woman to drive the Shields Ferry in the service's 40 year history was a "proud moment", she said.
She will take her ferry driving test in a few week's time.
The company said it was an "historic moment" for the service.
Carol Timlin, who became the ferry's first female manager in 2008, said Ms Peach was an "outstanding" candidate and was "undoubtedly the best person for the job".
The ferry has 13 crew members and two fitters who maintain the boats.