Deputy Harbour Master (Conservancy)

The Bristol Port Company own and operate the docks at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury, a general cargo port with some 3000 commercial vessel movements each year, vessels ranging in size from coaster to post-Panamax. The Port is a Statutory and Competent Harbour Authority, Local Lighthouse Authority and a member of the UK Major Ports Group.

A vacancy has arisen for a Deputy Harbour Master (Conservancy) and applications are sought from suitable candidates. The role encompasses the full span of responsibilities articulated in the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) section 3.6 and 3.7 (Conservancy Duty); Implement and manage the port dredge programme, manage the port hydrographers, as well as contribute to the overall compliance objectives of the PMSC as a Deputy Harbour Master.

Applicants should have an appropriate level of qualification and experience as a senior hydrographer, with a good working knowledge of the PMSC and harbour operations, and experience of working in a busy 24/7 department.

They should have extensive vessel based survey experience and be able to complete competent crew qualifications including medical requirements to allow them to survey and act where necessary as crew onboard the port survey craft and dredgers.

There is a competitive salary and benefit package, and the successful applicant will need to be located within an appropriate distance of Bristol. Expressions of interest and CVs should be sent to:

Sally Ashby, Personnel Officer

Please be aware; due to the nature of the role, only candidates eligible to both live and work in the UK will be considered for the role.  No sponsorship or relocation packages will be offered for this role.

Reports to:

The Harbour Master

Direct reports:

Hydrographic Surveyor, Marine Operative (Hydrographer).

Working Hours:

Monday to Friday 0830-1700hrs, with 1 hour for lunch. Occasional work from home on a case by case basis. 25 days annual leave.

Occasional out of hours and weekends where necessary in support of key duties/responsibilities.

Place of work:

St. Andrew’s House, St. Andrew’s Road, Avonmouth and other port locations as necessary including Royal Portbury Docks (RPD), and occasional travel to Barry (Pilot Station). Frequent requirement to work onboard the port survey vessel in support of surveys.  Occasional requirement to stay onboard overnight on the survey vessel in support of estuary surveys in the Severn Estuary.

Training will be provided where necessary to meet the following requirements for Competent Crew on Port vessels:

  • STCW Basic Sea survival, Fire fighting, First Aid, and Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (PSSR).

Key Duties

As defined in the Marine Department RASCI matrix, and as directed by the Harbour Master, currently incorporating:

Responsible for:

  • SHA Dredging plan development and implementation
  • SHA Lights, Marks and Buoys upkeep and development (LLA)
  • SHA Hydrographic survey plan development and implementation
  • Regulation of works in Harbour Area
  • Management of recreation/leisure moorings
  • Marine Office personnel management, including appraisal and development.


  • PMSC compliance
  • Marine Safety Management System upkeep and development
  • Oil Spill Contingency Plan development and implementation
  • SHA Environmental duties, including implementation of action plan and reporting under Habitat Regulations
  • Setting the dock water level

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree or higher in a marine based geo-science with appropriate modules in hydrographic surveying, hydrography or geomatics
  • OR pure science or mathematics based degree, with a postgraduate qualification in hydrographic surveying, hydrography or geomatics.

Minimum Experience

  • 5 years experience as hydrographer, ideally within ports/harbour environment.
  • At least 2 years experience at a management level in a marine operations environment.

Key Skills

  • Fully conversant with MS outlook, word and excel.
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of the Port Marine Safety Code (2016)
  • Expert level familiarity with hydrographic survey equipment and software, including multi beam and single beam bathymetric survey systems.
  • Expert level familiarity with survey data formatting and processing, chart production and International and United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (I/UKHO) standards and requirements.
  • Highly capable in written and spoken English.
  • Full UK driving licence.

Behavioural Qualities

  • Personable, able to get on with a variety of colleagues and stakeholders in the port.
  • Confident in presentation and speech in public and private meeting environments.
  • A capable and logical decision maker, able to bring together various sources of information and make choices based on those, in a fast and organised manner, under pressure.
  • Comfortable leading from the front, and also happy contributing to the team from the middle and the back.
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Deputy Harbour Master (Conservancy)


The Bristol Port Company


Deputy Harbour Master (Conservancy)


Bristol, UK

Closing Date:

04 March 2024