Luke Andrews likens his role of Port Taranaki marine operator to that of a Swiss army knife – able to be deployed for a range of purposes.
Luke, who has been at Port Taranaki for 10 years, is one of two marine operators at the port. Their role is to move across a range of fleet vessels and marine management jobs where needed, ensuring marine operations run smoothly.
“It’s my dream job, I love it,” says the former Hurricanes rugby player. “I get to be on the water a lot, which is why I wanted to drive boats.”
What does your role involve?
“It’s very wide and varied. Basically the marine operator can fulfil any job in the marine department – from tug master and tug deckhand, to launch master and launch deckhand, including making offshore trips on tugs and launches, and driving the motorised barge.
“We’re also support for the fleet manager and handle some low-level management areas, such as ensuring compliance and maintenance are met and systems are in place.”
What do you like about your role?
“It’s the variety. It’s healthy in that you don’t get tunnel vision – you keep bouncing around from one role to the next so you stay fresh.
“So, for example, yesterday I went to the Pohokura platform, today I’m working on some maintenance that’s due on a vessel, and then the next three days I’m tug master.
“We work seven days on, seven days off, but the beauty of the role is that we’re not always constrained to a roster or shipping duties so we get thrown special projects, such as running a vessel for survey work, or the likes of a water sampling run down to the Maari and Māui fields.”
What are the challenges?
“Remembering what boat I’m jumping onto! Every boat has its own little quirks and they all behave differently, so it’s not second nature when you jump between vessels and take charge for only a day or two.
“That’s the biggest challenge, but it also makes it interesting.”