Marine Apprentice

Salary £28,130 | Comprehensive benefits package | 2-year fixed term contract

At Harwich Haven Authority we are proud to protect, conserve and improve the Haven for the benefit of future generations, and to support this vision we are looking to recruit a Marine Apprentice to join our talented Marine team on a 2-year fixed term contract.

Reporting to the Pilot Launch Manager, you will be supporting our busy marine teams in delivering an exceptional service to five diverse ports through personnel transfers and maintenance of the Harwich Haven’s Aids to Navigation.

This is a varied role and you will have responsibility for undertaking minor repairs and maintenance tasks while also developing the ability to work on conservancy vessels and Pilot Launches as required. Whilst technical skills are an important part of this role, we are looking for someone with a can-do attitude that shares the Authority’s values and a willingness to learn.  There will also be the opportunity to get a good insight into the whole Authority and spend time in different departments to assist with your overall learning experience.

The apprenticeship is provided in partnership with SeaRegs Training and will involve a mixture of practical on the job experience and block placements at either the Plymouth or London training centres. Suitable travel and accommodation will be provided as needed.

We are looking for candidates who hold a minimum Grade 4 GCSE or equivalent in both English and Maths, or someone who is willing to work towards these alongside the apprenticeship. You will also need to be an effective communicator with the ability to work well as part of a team, and be prepared to work night shifts, weekends and bank holidays.

Job description and person specification – View

Our values – View

We recognise the positive value of diversity and would welcome applications from candidates from a range of backgrounds. If you are looking for a varied and fulfilling opportunity that will enable you to develop the skills to have a long-standing career in the maritime industry, please apply by sending your CV and covering letter to Lisa Johnson at [email protected].

Closing Date: Monday 1 July 2024

First stage interviews – weeks commencing 8 and 15 July 2024. Please advise your preference for interview dates.

Course start date Monday 9 September 2024, with an expected start date with us of Monday 2 September 2024.

Click on the video to find out more about our Marine Apprentice role at the Authority. 

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Pier Attendant

Hourly rate £14.20 | Casual hours | Seasonal Contract

We are seeking a diligent and customer-oriented Pier Attendant to join our team. As a Pier Attendant, you will be responsible for ensuring the smooth operation and safety of our pier facility while providing excellent customer service to our visitors.

Our Pier Attendants oversee the safe and efficient use of the pontoons by leisure users, collect mooring charges from visiting yachts and act as community ambassadors, providing support to visitors and users of the Pier.

Job Description and Person Specification – View

Our values – View

Harwich Haven Authority are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace. If you are excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles with us.

Please send your CV and a covering letter to Lisa Johnson at [email protected].

Applications close on 31 May 2024.

Proof of your Right to Work in the UK must already be in place.


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Trainee Marine Pilot

Trainee Marine Pilot

Salary £65,635 per annum | Comprehensive benefits package | Permanent contract

As one of the UK’s largest trust ports we are passionate about providing the very highest standards of service and are proud to have a proven track record in developing some of the world’s top Marine Pilots.

We have an exciting opportunity to join one of the UK’s largest trust ports and join our world-class pilotage team as a Trainee Marine Pilot.

With approximately 4,800 commercial vessel movements per year, including the world’s largest container ships in operation and 10,000+ leisure vessels using the Haven waters, this is a dynamic opportunity for the right candidate.

As a trust port we are responsible for preserving 150 square miles of the Haven. With 40% of the country’s container traffic travelling through this area from ultra large 16m+ draught container vessels to small coastal vessels working intertidal ports, this can bring a varied, appealing and interesting workload for our pilots.

Working closely with the five Haven ports, Port of Felixstowe, Port of Ipswich, Harwich International Port, Harwich Navyard, and Mistley, our pilots also work with the Port of Great Oakley ensuring their ships are brought in safely too. This brings a variety of different vessels trading to different ports within our area of jurisdiction, ensuring that no two days are ever the same.

Upon successful training, which has been described by a PMSC Audit as “best practice”, you will be responsible for the safe and efficient navigational conduct of all vessels within our areas of jurisdiction, with the potential to earn in excess of £100k per annum once qualified as a Senior Pilot. The role will give the right candidate not only the chance to develop as a pilot, but effectively engage with other areas of the business, ensuring our ambitious plans for the future are in line with industry innovations and our ESG targets.

We are looking for candidates:

Previous pilotage experience is not essential, but the right aptitude and attitude is. Recruitment selection and subsequent training takes place at our partner agency, HR Wallingford in their Modelling Hall, using their Ship Simulator facilities. This is an amazing opportunity to work with our team of experienced professionals who are keen to share their knowledge and expertise with all our trainees.


Job description and person specification – View

Our values – View

Employee benefits – 

  • DC Pension scheme – we match 3x plus 0.26% up to 15.26% (e.g. EE 5%, ER 15.26%)
  • Private medical with BUPA – with the option to add a partner / family member for a supplement
  • Medicash – covering dental, eye care and much more
  • Death in Service at 6x salary
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • One day of Volunteering Leave per year to support a charitable cause you care about


Recognising the positive value of diversity, we welcome applications from candidates regardless of background. If you are looking for a varied and fulfilling career bringing the biggest ships in the world into our area, where no two days are the same, and have the skills and experience we are looking for, please apply by sending your CV and covering letter to [email protected]. Proof of your Right to Work in the UK must be in place. 

Applications close – Monday 3 June, 5pm. 

First Stage interviews are expected to be virtual and will take place during the weeks commencing 1, 8 and 15 July – please advise of your availability in your application.

Second Stage interviews will be conducted at the ship simulation centre at HR Wallingford, the week commencing 23 September 2024.


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Mumbai Maersk heralds first deep draught vessel

The Mumbai Maersk has set a new record for the deepest draught vessel to call at the Port of Felixstowe.

The 20,568 TEU capacity ship arrived on Saturday 11 November from Bremerhaven with a draught of 16.8 metres and sailed 24 hours later with a draught of 17.0 metres.

The record has been set just four weeks after we announced the completion of our £130m project to deepen the channel and the subsequent work by Port of Felixstowe to deepen two of their container berths.

The depth of the approach channel was increased from 14.5 metres to 16.0 metres and Berths 8&9 increased from 16.0 metres to 18.0 metres below chart datum.


Mumbai Maersk docked at Port of Felixstowe. Photo credit: Jeff Welch


Sarah West, CEO of the Authority, said:

“The deepening of the approach channel was both a significant technical challenge and a major financial investment for the Authority. We were delighted with the outcome and are hugely encouraged to see that it is already paying dividends. Harwich Haven and the Port of Felixstowe are the main gateway for UK containerised trade and by working together we will ensure we continue to offer the right facilities and highest levels of service to our mutual customers.”


Commenting on the improvements, Robert Ashton, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“There has been a steady increase in recent years in the number of the latest generation of mega-vessels serving the main shipping route into Europe. The Port of Felixstowe is the best located UK port for these huge ships and, working with our partners at Harwich Haven Authority, we deepened the main approach channel and Berths 8&9 to cement further that advantage.


The deeper channel provides a level of access matched nowhere else in the country. It not only allows deeper vessels to call but also more ultra-large ships to be handled on each tide. With a short channel, close to the pilot station and ports of North Europe it is better for service, cutting emissions and reducing costs.”


The Mumbai Maersk operates on Maersk Line’s AE10 service between Europe and Asia.

You can watch a video of the Mumbai Maersk arriving here:

Sarah honoured by the RNLI

We are proud to announce that Sarah Chilver, Duty Officer in our VTS team, has been presented with a long service award medal from the RNLI.

Di Bush (Harwich Coxswain) and Graeme Richardson (Area Life Saving Manager) from the RNLI attended our operational building, Navigation House, in Harwich on Tuesday 31 October, to hand over the award to Sarah, recognising her 30 years’ service as a VTS launch authority for the RNLI.

Sarah’s colleagues from the VTS department and the Executive team were also in attendance to congratulate Sarah and hear her stories and memories.

Sarah continues to provide this vital service to the RNLI and both the Authority and RNLI passed on their grateful thanks.


From L-R: Di Bush (Harwich RNLI Coxswain), Sarah Chilver (VTS Duty Officer, HHA) and Graeme Richardson (Area Life Saving Manager, RNLI)



Jim wins Outstanding Achievement Award at the BPA Conference

Harwich Haven Authority’s Construction and Dredging Manager, Jim Warner, received recognition at the British Ports Association Conference last night (Thursday 19 October 2023).

Jim was delighted to accept the Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his work developing an innovative new dredging technology called Tiamat. Jim invented Tiamat as a new form of hydrodynamic dredging that works with tidal processes to minimise the loss of fine sediments from the estuarine system, supporting the natural evolution of habitats such as mudflats and saltmarsh, which host important populations of water birds and other species.

Prior to the completion of the Authority’s £130 million channel deepening project, which increased the channel depth from 14.5m to 16m below chart datum, around five Trailer Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) campaigns were typically contracted to removing approx. 2 – 2.5 million m3 of silt from the harbour each year.

The effectiveness of the Tiamat means that in 2024, with the deeper channel, the Authority will be contracting for only 3 TSHD campaigns, alongside 3 Tiamat campaigns. This will reduce the Authority’s dredging costs by two thirds and lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from maintenance dredging by 65%.

The Authority has been so impressed by the results of the Tiamat in the Haven, it set up Haven Dredging Ltd, to offer this innovative technology to other dredging authorities, companies, ports and harbours.

As the inventor of the Tiamat, Jim has worked tirelessly to trial, moderate and improve the technology for commercial success. With over 10 years’ experience in harbour engineering and more than 30 years’ experience in civil engineering and construction, the Authority are immensely proud that Jim’s hard work has been honoured by the BPA.


Jim Warner, Construction and Dredging Manager said:

“I was delighted to receive the award at last night’s BPA Conference Award ceremony. It was an honour to represent the Authority and be recognised by my peers for my work in the field of dredging, marine surveying and harbour engineering. I am really looking forward to seeing how the new Tiamat technology in the Harwich Haven area progresses and hopefully expands to new clients worldwide.”


Marcus Pearson, Interim ESG Director said:

“It was great to be with Jim last night at the BPA Conference and fantastic that he was recognised for the Outstanding Achievement Award for all his dedicated work maintaining the navigational channels into Harwich, and also developing new technology with the Tiamat, which will have significant benefits to the environment and in reducing our carbon emissions. I look forward to working with Jim next year as we look into a programme of beneficial use for the dredge materials for a number of projects in the Haven and surroundings coastal areas.”


Sarah West, CEO of Harwich Haven Authority said:

“The BPA Conference is a prestigious annual event and we wanted to mark the second year of BPA awards by nominating a member of our team for an Outstanding Achievement.  It was very hard to select just one person when all our colleagues consistently give 110%, however, Jim stood out to us for having delivered significant environmental and cost benefits, both to us a business and potentially to the wider maritime sector too. Jim’s development of the Tiamat technology and subsequent recognition at the BPA awards demonstrate to all his commitment – and Harwich Haven Authority’s support of – positive, environmental change for the port sector.”

From L- R: Bonnie Caleno, Sarah West, Marcus Pearson, Jake Storey and Jim Warner


Jim Warner pictured here receiving his award

Harwich Haven Authority and Port of Felixstowe announce channel deepening completion

Harwich Haven Authority are delighted to announce the completion of major works in the approach channel to improve access for the world’s largest container ships.

The announcement was formally made today (4 October 2023) during the maiden call at the port of its namesake the OOCL Felixstowe, the latest in a series of 24,188 TEU mega container vessels operated by Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. (“OOCL”).

The depth of the approach channel has been increased from 14.5 metres to 16 metres below chart datum. Hutchinson Ports Port of Felixstowe have also deepened berths 8 & 9 increasing them from 16 metres to 18 metres below chart datum.

Harwich Haven Authority appointed a joint venture of Dutch dredging contractors Royal Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord to undertake the £130m project, which has been privately financed by the Authority.


Paul Hesk, spokesperson for the Royal Boskalis Westminster – Van Oord joint venture said:

“We are proud to have successfully delivered this important project. Over 22 months we have used more than 20 different vessels to remove over 17.1 million cubic metres of material from the channel to improve access for some of the largest ships to be found anywhere in the world.”


Commenting on the improvements, Robert Ashton, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“The completion of this major dredging project reinforces Felixstowe’s position as one of Europe’s leading ports for the latest generation of mega vessels. It provides levels of access that are unequalled anywhere else in the UK. The dredge increases the maximum size of vessel we can handle, the berthing windows for the biggest vessels and the number of ultra-large vessels that can enter or leave the port on each high tide. Most importantly, it provides more flexibility and certainty of service for our customers in an industry where delays can be costly.

“It is entirely appropriate that the OOCL Felixstowe is one of the first ships to benefit from the deeper channel. The port has a very long-standing relationship with OOCL who first called here in the 1970s and we are honoured that they still entrust us with their business and have named their newest vessel after the port. It illustrates perfectly how we have developed together and both remain at the forefront of container shipping.”


The works undertaken included a beneficial placement project to recharge areas of Mersea Harbour, using dredged materials, providing significant reinforcement to an area that has been under severe threat from the rise in sea levels and storm wave action.

Additionally, the restoration project at Horsey Island using dredged materials has made the area the county’s most important site for Little Terns, the UK’s smallest tern species, with the RSPB recording the highest number of chicks fledging from the site in 17 years.


Sarah West, Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, said:

“The project to deepen the approach channel has been a significant financial investment by the Authority to ensure this vital UK gateway remains competitive and further safeguards the UK’s position as a major trading nation.

“The increased depth of the navigation channel together with the additional deep-water berths provides a compelling proposition for existing and future customers using the Port of Felixstowe.

“Extensive environmental studies were undertaken before any work could begin and we are pleased that, working with beneficial partners that include the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, we have been able to deliver – on time and to budget – a project that not only helps future-proof trade coming into the harbour but that also delivers significant environmental benefits.”


Watch our short film of the OOCL Felixstowe’s approach on its maiden voyage to Port of Felixstowe here:

For further enquiries, please contact Lisa Gibbs, Communications Manager, [email protected] / 01255 448737.

Harwich Haven Authority welcome the Laura Maersk

Harwich Haven Authority are excited to welcome the Laura Maersk to our Haven today. This heralds a landmark moment in the drive by the Authority to encourage all Port Operators and Shipping Lines to convert over to alternative fuels as part of our commitment to achieve Carbon Net Zero by 2035.

The Laura Maersk is the world’s first green methanol enabled container vessel, making its first call at the Port of Felixstowe on 29 September 2023. Laura Maersk will be met by both our Pilot and Marine Director (Harbour Master) in our launch vessels, which are run on Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel. Laura will be safely escorted into Port with Svitzer tugs, which are also committed to using  HVO fuel.

This puts us very much on the map as a Green Port destination for future vessel calls from around the world.

Will Barker (Marine Director and Harbour Master) said:

“I am very excited to be personally going out to meet the Laura Maersk with our Pilot and boat crew today to ensure safe navigation into Port. It is essential for shipping lines to embrace new technology to transition towards Net-Zero carbon emissions, which we fully support and encourage as a Harbour Authority.”

Marcus Pearson (ESG Director) said:

“As the Harbour Authority, we have already achieved a 50% reduction in our carbon emissions against our 2018 baseline.  This has been achieved through initiatives that include running our pilot vessels and marine craft on HVO fuel. In addition to this we are actively reviewing alternative ‘greener’ powered vessel options for the future and influencing our supply chain. The Laura Maersk vessel call today marks a step change in worldwide container shipping with its drive to reduce carbon. This technology is in line with our recently launched ESG Strategy that provides a roadmap to Net Zero.  This includes our responsibility as a trust port to  influence Port Operators and businesses within the Haven to act more sustainably.”

For further information contact: Marcus Pearson, Interim ESG Director, Harwich Haven Authority –  01255 448728 / Email: [email protected]


At the bridge of the Laura Maersk. Photo credit: Will Barker
The Laura Maersk. Photo credit: Will Barker
Marine Director (Harbour Master) Will Barker alongside the Laura Maersk