A US weatherman who gave it all up for a job in the North East has landed a new role.

Joe Avary, whose American accent proved popular with Tyne and Wear Metro customers, has joined the Shields Ferry crew as a Second Mate - and will start learning how to drive the iconic vessels across the river.

Nexus, the public body which owns and operates the Shields Ferry, said it was looking forward to him bringing his excellent customer skills to the cross-Tyne service.

Joe, 47, of East Boldon, hit the local news headlines in February for his incredible journey from the Cayman Islands to North East England.

His previous job saw him presenting weather forecasts and compiling news reports for the Cayman Islands’ only local TV station.

And after a stint working on Metro as a customer services advisor, Joe is now excited about the fresh challenge of joining the Shields Ferry crew.

The Northern Echo: Joe Avery, who has swapped the Cayman Islands for East Boldon, is looking forward to his new role on the Shields FerryJoe Avery, who has swapped the Cayman Islands for East Boldon, is looking forward to his new role on the Shields Ferry (Image: NEXUS)

He said: “It’s a huge honour to get this opportunity work at the Shields Ferry. I am really looking forward to getting started.

“The ferry is a local icon. I jumped at the chance to be able to work there.

"We had plenty of boat trips over the in Cayman Islands, where the weather is a little bit warmer than here, and so is the water, but to get the chance to actually learn how to drive a ferry is a wonderful new experience for me.

“I’ll miss all of my colleagues and customers on the Metro stations. If you take a trip on the Shields Ferry and you see me on duty don’t hesitate to come and say hello.”

Customer Services Operations Manager, Mandy Francis, said: “We are delighted to welcome Joe to our team at the Shields Ferry.

“He’s become a really popular member of staff at Metro and we are looking forward to working with him here at the Shields Ferry.

"I have absolutely no doubt he’ll be brilliant at the role and will build up a great rapport with our customers, which is real hallmark of the ferry service.”

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In 2021, Joe, and his wife Claire, who is from Jarrow, left their home in the Cayman Islands to return to the UK.

Joe, who is originally from Albuquerque in New Mexico, has had a 23-year media career, one that took him across the USA as a cameraman and a journalist, culminating in his dream job working in the Caribbean.

As a senior reporter at Cayman 27, Joe not only presented daily weather forecasts, he also provided local news coverage for the tiny island, which is a poplar retreat for some of the richest people in the world.