Alex Pearson

Alex Pearson

What do you do?

There are three main aspects to my role as Marine Operations Assistant. The first is being a crew member onboard our tugs. My main role is to pass or let go the lines, complete general cleaning and maintenance tasks onboard, ,and spend time on the wheel. The main job of a tug is levelling. This is where we level the seabed to the required depth, which is mostly dependent on the size and type of boat or ship that will be using the area. Alongside Shoreham, we work away at local ports in the area. Having only been there a few months, I have already spent a week in Newhaven, and a few days in Portsmouth. This is probably the part I have been enjoying the most, as it is different to day to day work and it gets us somewhere different. Another use for tugs is towage. So far, I have towed a barge from Brighton marina to Newhaven, and towed a broken down fishing vessel into Shoreham.

The second aspect of my job is maintenance around the port. From collecting rubbish on our workboat on a daily basis, to painting onboard the tugs, fixing the gates and pontoons and checking safety equipment regularly.

Last but not least is acting as both Assistant Lock Master and Crew for our pilot boats. That requires tidal shift work, operating the locks, taking lines for ships entering and exiting the port, and acting as crew and safety member when getting pilots onboard or off the ships we have in port.

As you can see, my job is massively varied and I love it, as there is never time to get bored with what I am doing. 

What does a typical day at work look like?

I don't think I have a particularly 'typical' day, which I love. On a maintenance day, we start at 08:00 and usually complete a canal patrol. We take the port workboat up the canal and complete a list of jobs such as clearing any rubbish and checking the marinas. Some days we will follow by going out bed levelling and others will consist of other maintenance jobs around the port, checking the lifesaving equipment around the port, or crewing the pilot boat whilst ships visit and leave the port. 

My roles vary so much that there is no typical day. Eventually we will be filling in a number of roles around the port. 

How did you get to where you are today?

Once I left school, I gained two AS Levels in sociology and photography, and two A-levels in English Literature and Philosophy and Ethics. After I left college, I worked part time whilst waiting for my start date for the Royal Navy, and I ended up joining the Navy in February 2014, where I spent five and a half years in the warfare department as a seamanship specialist. Upon leaving, I started work at a local office, where I realised I missed the maritime side of work. This led me to my current role at Shoreham Port. 

After spending more than five year in the forces, I tries an office job and found it didn't suit me. I much prefer a more active and physical job and the advertisement for my current job seemed to fit the bill perfectly! It enabled me to remain familiar with the maritime, and given my experience and familiarity with being at and by the sea, it seemed a shame to wast my skills rather than build on them further. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy keeping active and meeting up with my friends. I love going out to places such as the cinema, and particularly shopping. I am also currently training as a carer so I can help others in my spare time. I love my downtime as well, so will try to have an equal amount of time to chill with my family and catch up with my favourite TV shows.