CAPTAIN Roger Moore, Shetland Islands Council’s harbourmaster, is swapping the public for the private sector by moving to join oil company BP at Sullom Voe Terminal.
The 44 year old from Belfast has worked his way up within the council from marine superintendent eight years ago to become executive manager ports.
For the past three and a half years he has run the council’s harbour operations, including the port of Sella Ness that handles sea traffic for the oil terminal.
Now he is moving his desk to the other side of the harbour where he will take over as marine team leader, a job formerly held by Richard Hurding.
Captain Moore began his career as a deckhand with Blue Star Shipping, rising to master on the Irish Sea fast ferries prior to his move to Shetland.
However his time at the helm of the council’s ports operation has been turbulent to say the least as he tried to steer through the Ports for the Future programme designed to save money as oil throughput waned
A major effort to completely reorganise working patterns for pilots, pilot boat crews and tugmen caused bitterness and strains within the department, culminating in a narrowly avoided strike by tugmen last October.
He was also in charge when the council took delivery in February last year of two new tugs Solan and Bonxie, built at a cost of £7 million each at a Spanish shipyard
Both tugs are currently out of action pending the outcome of an internal inquiry into a potentially disastrous incident on 20 December when the Solan collided with the shuttle tanker Loch Rannoch. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch was informed.
This was the second serious incident involving the new tug, after Solan lost power during a berthing operation last August.
Staff received an email from Captain Moore on Tuesday saying that he had tendered his resignation the previous day and would be leaving his post on 18 June to join BP.
Captain Moore said his new job was an opportunity he decided to take that would allow him to stay within the islands.
He said: “It has been a time of great change and opportunity for the council. The staff I have worked with have been very professional.”
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