Apprenticeships at OIC Marine Services

Owen Robertson is currently undertaking an apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering. He is halfway through his four year apprenticeship and has spent time studying at Inverness College UHI and North Highland College UHI alongside working at OIC Marine Services at Scapa, where he is learning the practical skills he needs as an electrical engineer. Watch his video to learn more about his apprenticeship journey.

Staff Profiles

Mr Brian Archibald

Harbour Master and Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transportation

Brian joined Orkney Islands Council as Head of Transportation and Amenities under which comes Marine Services incorporating the Harbour Authority, Orkney Ferries and Orkney Towage. This role has now evolved to include that of Harbour Master.

Brian previously served 36 years in the Royal Navy as a warfare officer rising to the rank of Commodore. He is a qualified Master Mariner (warship) and his Royal Navy Career included three sea command appointments. The latter part of his naval career involved the project team leadership for complex ship and weapon maintenance and procurement programmes including repropulsion programmes, the design of the new Type 26 Global Combat Ship and the leasing of the Royal Navy’s ice breaker and patrol vessel.

In addition to his leadership of Marine Services and statutory Harbour Master responsibilities, Brian is also responsible for the delivery of the Interisland Air Service, all Public Bus and Transport services and for Civil Engineering. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, a Full Member of the UK Harbour Master’s Association and has a Masters degree in Business Administration in addition to his BSc in Electrical Engineering.

Captain Alistair Wylie

Deputy Harbour Master Operations

In 1979, Capt. Alistair Wylie joined the Orkney Islands Shipping Company where he moved up through the ranks to become Master in 1989. He sailed as master for over 22 years on the inter islands ferries, an experience which has given him intimate knowledge of the tides and currents that surround Orkney. In 2010 he came ashore as a Marine Superintendent and then went on to become Ferries Operations Manager in 2012.Alistair was promoted to Deputy Harbour Master ( Operations) in January 2015 and is responsible for the day to day operations of the 29 piers and harbours within the Orkney ports estate. With the diversity of shipping that arrives in Orkney, this a very challenging role in ensuring that the supporting infrastructure of tugs and pilots are available when needed, berths are fully prepared for the receiving of vessels be it freight or ferries, dive support vessels or cruise liners and in addition, that the oil port of Scapa Flow is fully coordinated in servicing Ship to Ship transfers of crude oil and LNG and vessels are safely berthed at the Flotta Oil terminal.

Alistair is a Full Member of the UK Harbour Master’s Association.

Mr David Sawkins

Deputy Harbour Master Strategy and Support

David joined Orkney Islands Council as Ferry Services Manager for Orkney Ferries Ltd in May 2005. With the formation of the Council’s Marine Services Department he was appointed as Head of Marine Services (Support) in April 2009.

David was the Interim Director of Marine Services from January 2011 until September 2012 and the Marine Services Senior Manager and Harbour Master from October 2012 until January 2014. Since then he has undertaken his present role which includes responsibility for strategic planning, oil spill response, harbour plans and infrastructure.

David previously worked for the ports, harbours and marine sections of Portsmouth City Council (1989 – 1996), Shetland Islands Council (1996 – 2003) and Port Sutton Bridge ( 2003 – 2004) gaining wide and varied experience in port management and operations, ship operations and vessel’s major refit / building.

David has a Honours degree (BSc) in Engineering & Management Studies (Portsmouth University, 1994), an International Diploma for Harbour Masters (2011) and is a Full Member of the UK Harbour Masters Association and a Council member of the British Ports Association.

Mr David Hibbert

Technical Superintendent

David has over 10 years’ service with Orkney Islands Council and has accumulated over 30 years’ experience in ship operations and management, and is a fully qualified Chief Engineer and registered Incorporated Engineer.

He joined the management team at the Harbour Authority in 2010, and prior to this he was the Technical Superintendent with Orkney Ferries Ltd. David is responsible for the maintenance and availability of all of Orkney Marine Services Vessels, VTS, Linkspans and Harbour infrastructure. He is part of the operational management teams for the towage, ferries and harbour operations.

Mr Andrew Blake

Ferry Services Manager

Andrew was born into a maritime family in Hampshire and has always had salt-water in his veins. He completed his schooling in South Africa, having emigrated there with his family. After school he joined the South African Navy (SAN), spending a considerable portion of his career at sea and rising to command three ships of three different classes. In his last five years he was responsible for the acquisition of a core mine-warfare capability for the SAN. During this period he also undertook the duties of standby naval harbourmaster and pilot.

In his quest to get closer to ships and the sea, Andrew chose to look to his country of birth with its strong maritime heritage in order to best utilise his skill set. His love for island living immediately attracted him to the position of port marine safety and counter pollution manager in the Orkney Islands. In August 2017, Andrew was appointed Ferry Services Manager overseeing the day to day operations of the internal ferry services.

Miss Hazel Stephen

Office Manager

Hazel has been with the Department of Harbours since 1976 and is one of the Councils longest serving employees having served under 5 Directors of Harbours.

Hazel's responsibilities are wide and varied in her remit as Office Manager. Her responsibilities cover both the Harbour Authority and Orkney Towage Co Ltd and range from invoicing, staff rosters, personnel matters, compliance and governance, audit preparations to sales and budget ledgers, budget control and responsible for the day to day running of the Harbour Authority Building.

Miss Jenni Kakkonen

Senior Biologist

Jenni joined Marine Services, Marine Environmental Unit in March 2007 as a Biologist. In February 2012 she took on the daily management of the Marine Environmental Unit as a Senior Biologist.

Jenni is responsible for the marine ecological monitoring work carried out by the Unit. This includes marine non-native species monitoring, sandy and rocky shore monitoring, radiological monitoring, ballast water sampling and contract work carried out by the Unit.

Jenni has a BSc (Hons) degree in Zoology from University of Bristol and an MSc in Aquatic Ecosystems Management from Edinburgh Napier University. She is currently in process of analysing data collected by the Marine Environmental Unit as part of her part-time PhD research with Heriot-Watt University.

Captain John Taylor

Marine Superintendent - Pilot Launches & Towage

John joined Shell Tankers (UK) Limited as an indentured apprentice in September 1965 and left to work for Elf at Flotta Terminal during 1998.

He was an Offshore Supervisor in Oman for five years and Marine Superintendent in Brunei for three years, before transferring to Japan where he was part of the team that oversaw the introduction of large Petronas LNG tankers to several Japanese ports.

John gained his Command during 1988 and was Captain of product tankers, LNG vessels and ULCC’s up to 1998.

When he left Flotta Terminal after it was sold to Talisman Energy, he set up his own Company, working on projects for renewable energy off Eday, completing STS oil transfers worldwide and playing a key role in some of the worlds’ largest salvage operations. He has been working in the port of Rotterdam, between salvage operations, gaining invaluable experience on tugs and Port Operations. John joined the team at Marine Services in Orkney this summer.

Douglas Manson

Port Marine Safety & Counter Pollution Manager

Douglas’s marine career started over 25 years ago in the white fish and pelagic fishing industry. In 1997 he moved to the offshore industry working on oil and gas support vessels in the North Sea. Douglas joined Orkney Towage Company Limited in 2002 latterly sailing as Chief Officer and then came ashore in 2017 as Port Safety and Counter Pollution Manager with Marine Services.