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biggest ships in the world.” Seven years later, Geoff was appointed harbourmaster


of Tilbury where he was involved in the creation of the UK’s newest port, Tilbury2 which opened in May last year and is the country’s most modern and biggest unaccompanied freight ferry terminal. “That’s some career,” I say. “I’ve been around the houses a little


bit,” Geoff laughed. “I like to think I’ve got a very good


background with sailing and leisure activities, but also I’ve got my head screwed on when it comes to running a harbour and know what’s required both commercially and for the leisure users as well.” What’s it like to go from running huge container and


ferry ports to managing the River Dart from the weir at Totnes to the harbour in Dartmouth? I asked. “It’s actually comparable. You’ve got the job that’s out on the water but a lot of the paperwork which you do in the office, like emergency plans and port waste management plans - all the regulations and stuff that you have to have in place - is all very similar and still has to be in place and that’s a big part of my job. “You are coming from mega ships down to yachts


but I’m dealing now with one-and-a-half thousand yachts whereas before I was dealing with a handful of ships that came in every day, so it is different and it is a


“Every day there is something different, it’s not a mundane job.”


different way of managing something. “It is still a busy job and you are rushed off your feet. “Every day there is something different, it’s not a mundane job.” As Covid restrictions ease, safety on the water is Geoff’s number one priority. “We are trying to get some signage put up at all public launching sites along the river in conjunction with the RNLI, to advise people on safe practices such as wearing life jackets, emergency telephone numbers and rules of the road. “We are going to get a lot of people


that aren’t familiar with the area coming down wanting to put their paddleboards, kayaks and jet-skies into the water. “We need to make sure that people understand what they can and can’t do, for everyone’s safety.” What for the future of the river? “I have got ideas of


what I’d like to take forward but I will put those to the board for discussion and the board will then decide if they think they are valid and possible. “It’s really only been a month since I’ve taken up the


reins and then trying to get to know everybody and what happens and how in the harbour. “It is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to


work here and I hope I get to meet everybody on the river and everyone gets to meet me.”•


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