Former Lisneal College student

Jade Hamilton.
Jade Hamilton.

Former Lisneal College student, Jade Hamilton excelled in the first episode of World’s Toughest Jobs, shown on BBC3.

On the first day Jade, who enjoys make up, big hair and long, painted fingernails, thought her two male colleagues on the adventure would see her as just a girl with hair extensions.

But after the first day’s work, she said she thought that the two lads - Callum and Luke - needed to “man up”.

One of them Luke, didn’t even make it into work on the second day, when the boat had to stay out longer than expected due to a poor catch.

But he was allowed to join again on the next day though he failed to make an impression again and resigned. Jade, on the other hand, surprised everyone, including herself. Callum also made an impression but his hard graft resulted in him suffering an arm injury which prevented him working.

On the programme, Jade described her mum, Colleen as a “complete soft touch”, while her mum worried that Jade would still be under her parents’ feet when entering her 30s. But the stint on the lobster boat changed her.

Jade, from the Newbuildings district, embarked on the extreme adventure in a bid to earn a much-needed injection of cash.

Alongside the two other young adults, the former Lisneal College student - anxious to sort out her life and finances - signed up to work as a deck-hand on a rock lobster fishing boat on the west coast of Australia.

Jade said that her stint on the fishing boat was “something totally out of the ordinary” for her and she was glad that she had “stuck it out”.

The boat’s skipper said many people could not cope with the work and that Jade “can go home proud”.

But she said she would never look at another lobster after getting home to Northern Ireland.

“I was completely out of my comfort zone,” she says.

“If they’d asked me beforehand what I’d hate to do, I’d probably have told them anything to do with fishing.

“And that’s exactly what I ended up doing.”

The 23-year-old says that, when she told family and friends what she had signed up for, they just laughed.

“You should have seen the looks on their faces. It was a case of: ‘Jade, there’s no way you’re going to stick it out’.”

Jade says the work on the boat was “back-breaking, repetitive, relentless, dangerous and, at times, terrifying.”

“The water we were working in was full of sharks,” she says.

“One false move and you were in the water - with the sharks. It really was that scary.”

Working in treacherous seas under a scorching hot sun was a far cry from Jade’s normal work life.

The one major perk, however, was the money.

In Australia, a seasoned ‘deckie’ can earn as much as $1,000 a day.

Jade says that, in spite of her worst fears, she was pleasantly surprised at how she coped.

“Let’s just say that I got on really well,” she said.

“I didn’t think I would be able to do what I did. I’m proud of myself.”

Jade describes her time on the boat as “life changing.”

“It has given me a whole new perspective on things. I have much more of a work ethic now and a respect for those people who do really demanding jobs in difficult circumstances.”