Feature, Freight News, Sea

Buckley in Southampton hot-seat

[ January 2, 2018   //   ]

Captain Phil Buckley (right) takes over as harbour master at the port of Southampton when Captain Martin Phipps retires.

He is now responsible for the safe navigation of all vessels on one of the busiest waterways in the world and across the wider Solent – last year 160,000 vessel movements, including some of the largest ships in the world, were recorded excluding leisure craft.

Captain Phipps (left), who first went to sea at the age of 16, came to the port as a Marine Pilot in 1990 and became Harbour Master in 2011, leading a team of 110 marine staff including pilots, vessel traffic service personnel, hydrographers and berthing officers. He was recently recognised in the New Year’s Honours list when he was awarded an MBE for services to UK exports.

Phipps added: “In the past ten years the size of cruise ships has doubled, while by comparison, the growth of container ships has been more gradual,” said Captain Phipps.

His successor, Captain Buckley enjoyed a 35-year career in the Royal Navy, a further six years in port management and most recently he was Harbour Master in Jersey.

He said: “Who wouldn’t want to be Harbour Master in Southampton? Although the scope and scale of Southampton compared to Jersey is enormous, the fundamentals of the job are the same. I am excited by the challenge and I get a real kick out of knowing Southampton plays such a central role in shaping the UK economy – and I am really excited to be playing a full role in that.”

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