Port of Lancaster appoints new harbour master

By Tim Aldred

06 Jul 2023

Carl Bower Port Of Lancaster

Carl Bower has been appointed as the new harbour master at the Port of Lancaster.

Carl brings nearly four decades of marine experience to the role, and his long connection to the sea stretches back to previous generations of his family involved in shrimping, cockling and fishing. His first job was as a shipwright with Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (Submarine construction).

He then worked for companies specialising in dredging and large marine engineering and civil construction projects, land reclamation, pipe and cable laying and capital dredge works.

In the last 29 years Carl has been at Associated British Ports in Barrow holding various positions including Class 1 Pilot unlimited which also included piloting submarines.

Carl said: "The simplest way to describe my role is that I oversee, regulate and manage the daily operations of the Port and all that involves. Here at Glasson Dock, we deal with vessels carrying bulk cargo, like animal feedstuffs, fertilizers and aggregates, and general cargoes to and from the Isle of Man.

“The import and export facilities provided at the Port to local businesses, support up to 200 local jobs."

Located at Glasson Dock, the port’s Statutory Harbour Area includes the navigable channel of the Lune, which meanders through environmentally sensitive and protected mudflats and saltmarshes.

Carl added: "This is a tidal port and a busy one at times. My focus is making sure it’s a safe place for everyone to be, including those living and working in or close to the port, the port’s staff, customers or visitors.

"It means being familiar with and complying with a raft of regulatory requirements. Cooperation with different government agencies is important as well as emergency and security planning, drills and exercises. 

“One of my main responsibilities is the safety of navigation. On a practical level I make decisions about when and where vessels come into the port, the provision of a pilot service, using crews and our pilot vessels ‘Gertrude’ and ‘Trelawney’.

“My other duties include dredging, surveying and maintaining the buoys to show the channel’s current position."

Carl takes over the role from Elsabe White, chief executive officer. She said: "The harbour master is a vitally important role and we are really pleased to have Carl join us. It’s an exciting time for us, with projects planned to enhance the harbour facilities for everyone. We look forward to working with Carl as we deliver our five-year strategy.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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