We were delighted to speak with ABP colleague Evelyn Voaden, shortly after she recently took up post as Deputy Harbour Master. We explored what the job entails and why Evelyn chose to take on this exciting new role…
Please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 33, and living on the Waterfront at the moment – I recently moved down from Sheffield to work for ABP. Needless to say there are not any marine based jobs in a landlocked city!
What is your background?
I previously worked at sea for 15 years on a variety of ships with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), and the National Oceanography Centre (royal research ships - RRS James Cook and RRS Discovery). I did my cadetship as a deck officer at South Tyneside college, where I also later studied for Chief Mate and Master Certificates of Competency. My last job was Master of RRS James Cook, we sailed from Southampton to Las Palmas (Canaries) and streamed a new scientific wire on the way down to check the scrolling on the wire and prepare it for use.
What prompted you to join ABP?
I was looking for something shore-based that suited my qualifications/skill set and I’ve always been interested in harbour work. ABP is the UK’s leading port operator and is an excellent place to learn the ropes as Deputy Harbour Master.
What does your role entail? Give us a day-to-day example of tasks you undertake and challenges you face:
As a new starter with ABP, my first two weeks have been shadowing the Harbour Master, reading up on port regulations, procedures, attending training courses and learning how Orwell Navigation Service (ONS) operates. I have been out on the river assisting with maintenance of the navigation buoys, and I also visited Harwich VTS and did a river familiarisation trip on the Arklow Manor departure last week to learn about the pilotage down the river Orwell. I’m currently understudying Deputy Harbour Master Nick Shaw and we are doing joint watches at ONS together as I’m starting to take on my new duties/responsibilities.
What do you enjoy about the role?
So far, I’m enjoying the challenge of learning all this new information, and the wide variety of my induction has been very useful in getting familiarised/up to speed with things. I also enjoy meeting all the friendly people who work here at the port.
What surprising factors have you faced in the role?
The diverse range and complexity of scenarios that are dealt with day to day at ONS.
Where do you see your career taking you within ABP?
In the fullness of time, I would like the opportunity to become Harbour Master.