In 2019 international surveyors Van Ameyde acquired the UK based McAuslands to widen it’s market, Marc Lawrence tells us how this looks today.
Who are Van Ameyde McAuslands? / Brief History
Established in 1888 McAuslands is one of the oldest marine survey outfits in the country. With its Head Office in Hull it initially served the interests of ship owners and their third party insurers (P&I Clubs) and this group still provides the majority of the work today. It took almost 100 years before we expanded from one to two offices but today we have offices throughout the UK and overseas too. Since we became a part of the VA Group in 2019 we can now boast over 100 surveyors and consultants located on all five major continents.
What is your personal commercial background and what is your role at VAM?
I started my maritime career upon leaving school working on Salvage vessels and tugs. Then moved on to superyachts working as a chief engineer and then gained my master’s qualification and spent 5 years as master of a 60m motor yacht. I later moved into the wind farm industry working on CTVs and Tugs as Master working throughout Europe.
What first attracted you to the Maritime Industry?
The marine industry is within my blood being brought up on tugs on the River Thames. My family have always operated commercial vessels and at every opportunity I would find myself on board getting involved. Maritime is my life.
Have there been any memorable moments in your career that stick-out?
My most memorable moment would be being asked to take command of the 60m Motor Yacht I worked on based in the Mediterranean. This was a big step up for me at the time and was a real tipping point within my career.
What is your role within VA McAuslands?
My role at McAuslands is Senior Marine Surveyor and Consultant, besides this I also act as Harbour Master for two ports in North Devon! My current role is very diverse, ranging from MCA code examiner for Small Craft, to Full condition surveys and Hull and Machinery investigations of large Cargo ships.
What is the most interesting task from within your current work scope?
The most interesting part of my job is simply the fact that no two days are ever the same. One day I might be performing a Workboat Survey, or be inspecting a damaged shipping container (CTU) and the next day I am on board a ship that has run aground.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I live in Lymington, close to the New Forrest. I love the outdoors and when not working on boats, I enjoy days out on the Solent with my family.
Do you see any challenges for vessel and cargo surveyors on the horizon?
Adapting to changes in technology and investing in their own futures, we have not just followed, but have also led this drive trying to keep fresh and current. There is a shortage of well-skilled and competent surveyors within the <50 age category, we need to start training younger blood so that the sector’s surveyor pool has the correct experience necessary to serve the industry’s demands in the most efficient and professional manner.
Do you have any tips for anyone looking to become involved in Surveying?
Yes, you need to be aware before you begin that Surveyors need to be extremely flexible. You might be working at 3am on a cold and wet Sunday morning, in a place that you would normally rather avoid! Your day can change with one phone call or email, an urgent request for attendance is part of a Surveyors duty, you need to be totally adaptable and have the support and understanding of your family and friends. There is a lot of good information available via the IIMS: https://www.iims.org.uk/education/yacht-small-craft-professional-qualification/