Local Master Mariner Captain Chad Murray has been appointed as the island’s new harbourmaster.
The former Condor captain, who has nearly 20 years’ professional maritime experience, will officially take over the post when current harbourmaster Captain Peter Gill retires later this year. However he has already joined Guernsey Harbours, and is playing an active role in the day to day management.
Captain Murray, 34, learnt to sail with the Guernsey Yacht Club, and as a teenager worked as a deck hand on the Herm Trident before embarking on a seafaring career.
He joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, aged just 16, and went on to serve aboard a range of Royal Navy support vessels engaged in operations worldwide. This included tankers, general stores and ammunition carriers, amphibious assault craft, ‘at sea’ repair and submarine support ships, and helicopter carriers.
He spent 11 years in the service, during which he also undertook a shore-based role in development of a new class of carrier for amphibious vehicles and troops for the Royal Navy. This included the development of sea trials procedures for the vessel, for which Captain Murray was operations and navigating officer.
He was also selected for six months’ service with the Royal Navy, as a Merchant Naval adviser on counter terrorism and embargo operations in the eastern Mediterranean.
Captain Murray joined Condor in 2006, serving as ships master on both the conventional vessels and the company’s ‘wavepiercer’ catamarans.
He left in 2010 to take up a role as marine manager for a local company, before his next international move took him to Dubai. He spent most of the last two years as a marine consultant for a firm operating in the oil and gas industry, which provides services to companies worldwide.
There he specialised in drilling rig movement for marine and offshore operations throughout the Middle East, as well as carrying out industry-related surveys and audits for various types of vessels. He also provided project management and marine consultancy.
He returned to the island this year to rejoin Condor, prior to being appointed to his new role, which he said is his dream appointment.
‘I grew up in Guernsey and I spent my youth sailing in these waters. That gave me my first taste of the sea, and it has been my life ever since,’ he said
‘My career that has taken me many places, and that has given me many wonderful experiences. This is a new challenge and a real honour to have such an important role managing the harbours and the local waters that were such a passion to me as a boy. This is something I could only have dreamt of when I was growing up.
Public Services Chief Officer, Adrian Lewis, said Captain Murray’s maritime career had provided him with extensive operational experience in a variety of roles. He was highly qualified for his new position, and would be of great value in the management of the ports.
The harbourmaster has overall responsibility for the day to day management of Guernsey Harbours’ maritime operations.
‘The harbour operations at St Peter Port and St Sampson’s are vital to the island, as the route for almost all inbound and outbound goods. Everything from food to fuel supplies, and building equipment to clothing comes through the ports, around the clock on a daily basis,’ he said.
‘The harbourmaster has a critical role in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the ports. Chad’s experience to date will be invaluable in performing that day to day duty, and helping the Department to ensure we provide the service expected of a modern harbour authority.’