Kerrie Forster caught up with Fleur and Donford at the recent Christening of Port of Jersey’s new workboat to find out more about their careers and functions within the PoJ team.
What is the role of Ports of Jersey?
Ports of Jersey Limited is the incorporated business that operates the Island’s Airport and Harbours.
Our core business is highly regulated in safety and security and is constantly subject to external scrutiny. However, despite this regulated side of the business there’s a large business to consumer piece delivered by our Jersey Marinas and Customer Relations teams.
In “our” team, we’re here to not only provide the necessary infrastructure to allow Jersey Harbours’ operations to take place, but also to enrich the experiences and journeys of our customers through high quality services.
Our role is to continue to develop the facilities, services and products for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses. As well as our core business, we additionally undertake a number of public service obligations on behalf of the Island’s government, including Jersey Coastguard and Historic Harbours and educational programmes on sea safety.
In the marine division we manage three businesses; Jersey Harbours, Jersey Marinas and Jersey Coastguard.
When did you both start working with Ports of Jersey and what are your current roles?
Out of the two of us, Fleur started first in 2017. Donford joined a couple of years later in 2019, but we both feel we have been here for a lot longer. We have a great team surrounding us and since starting we have both been given opportunities to expand our responsibilities and develop ourselves, which keeps us challenged and enthusiastic.
Donford’s role is Head of Marine Services, and Fleur recently started a new position within the company as Business Operations Manager, Marine Services.
How have your careers developed previous to these latest roles?
Donford holds his Class 1 Master CoC and worked in the offshore industry in Australia, both at sea and ashore in management roles. He moved to Jersey in 2019 to begin his role within Ports of Jersey in the Marine Services team and also as one of the harbour pilots.
Fleur has a Degree in Navigation and Maritime Science, which she studied at University of Plymouth. She spent 4 Years at sea in the Superyacht Industry on board a high profile vessel and spent the last 4 years working at Ports of Jersey, dual-role’ing in both the Jersey Coastguard and the St Helier VTS as a watch officer.
What is the fleet make-up of Ports of Jersey?
We have 4 main vessels;
- Shoalbuster 2609 Duke of Normandy Technical-details-DUKE-OF-NORMANDY.pdf
- Shoalbuster 2711 Duchess Technical-details-DUCHESS.pdf
- And our 2 Pilot vessels
In addition we have number of small harbour workboats and RIBs
Can you explain Ports of Jerseys’ diversification to offer its fleet for external contracting?
Our first Shoalbuster (which we have owned for 15 years) The Duke of Normandy, has been working commercially off island for the last 5+ years and has been a real success story. The experience we gained in chartering-out the Duke proved there was a suitable market for us to invest in a new additional vessel to our fleet. We have very recently accepted our new-build ‘larger’ Shoalbuster the Duchess from builders Damen Shipyards. This is a new commercial venture for us.
What kind of contracts do your vessels get involved in?
Our assets, equipment and experience allows our team to provide the following services:
- Bed levelling and Dredge support
- Engineering and Project management
- Hydrographic services
- Mooring, Maintenance and Anchor handling
- Renewable energy support
- ROV, Survey and Dive support
- Towing and Pushing
We work together with Landfall Contractors, who commercially market and charter our vessels internationally.
Can you tell us more about your latest vessel the Duchess?
The Duchess is the bigger sister to our original Shoalbuster the Duke of Normandy. She is a Shoalbuster 2711, built at the Damen Shipyard in Gorinchem, Netherlands. She was recently christened by her ‘Godmother’ Fiona Planterose, one of our team here at Ports of Jersey during a naming ceremony held in Gorinchem on the 11th November.
She has a 40T Bollard pull and can sail at 11 knots, she is coded under the Jersey(REG) flag to sail in Category 2 waters.
The additional two metres of beam [compared to the Duke of Normandy] provide extra stability, comfort, work space, storage and opportunity for a larger crane.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Donford is a keen home cook, he also enjoys travelling. This project has meant he has been able to spend a good amount of time in the Netherlands!
Fleur enjoys dinghy sailing, she is also a RNLI Lifeboat Crew. Basically, she will do anything to get out on the water!
Is there any upcoming news from Ports of Jersey that we can get an early taster of?
Ports of Jersey are currently undergoing plans for a major re-investment into the Harbour and Airport. At the Harbour we are currently refurbishing the St Helier Marina, with plans in the next few years to relocate our LOLO operations closer to the RORO operations and therefore create additional marina space within St Helier Harbour itself. This will be a vital and well-received evolution of our facilities and services, providing more for our residents and visitors alike.
Do you have any advice for those looking to begin a career in Ports services?
Ports of Jersey is an inclusive and diverse company, there are so many various roles within the business from Air Traffic controllers to Coastguard/VTS, Harbour Management and Marine Services. If you would like to join our team, you can expect to have exposure to a variety of operations, so an open mind and positive attitude is very much appreciated! Every day is different, our business requires people who can adapt quickly in new situations whilst also providing a presence of authority on the island.