MCS: Joe, we are often asked by several people what Marine Coordination actually means. Could you please describe what are the main aspects of your profession?
Joe: Primarily, one of the main functions of a Marine Coordinator is to co-ordinate all project related marine traffic associated with the wind farm, as well as tracking and controlling the movement of all offshore personnel. This is important as it ensures that all project personnel can be located at any one time, in case of an emergency or evacuation in which case Marine Coordinators are generally the first point of contact. It also helps to prevent vessels or personnel from accessing locations or exclusion zones that could potentially put them in danger.
MCS: How has CoVid19 affected your career so far? How are you dealing with this crisis?
Joe: Unfortunately, CoVid 19 has indefinitely postponed a small project that I would otherwise be working on and furthering my career. However, the health of my friends and family is of course of the upmost importance, and so I am happy to not be travelling to work, staying at home and helping to control the spread of the virus. If we all continue to do our part, before long things will be back to normal and it will be business as usual. In the meantime, I am trying to make the most out of spending time at home with my girlfriend and 2 cats.
MCS: How many years have you been busy with Marine Coordination and what has been the best memory for you so far?
Joe: I have been working within the offshore wind industry for almost a decade, and for the majority of that time as a Marine Coordinator. For me, I always love the excitement of joining a new project, working with old and new faces, and becoming part of a team dedicated to tackling the daily challenges of constructing an offshore wind farm.
MCS: What are for you the greatest challenges currently trending? Is there an example you would be willing to share, of an incident that you may have witnessed, which you think could have been prevented with better preparation?
Joe: It is always a challenge to efficiently coordinate potential clashes with simultaneous operations running on the project, to maximize productivity and prevent any downtime. There are many examples of where things haven’t gone as planned, which can often result in small delays and a financial impact on the project, and so it’s very important to have accurate project lookaheads in place, as well as foreseeing any potential problems and having a back-up plan.
MCS: How do you see the future of Marine Coordination in OWF Construction? Will AI & machines be taking over, or will there always be a need for the human touch?
Joe: As more and more Offshore Wind Farms continue to be constructed worldwide, and already some wind farms are approaching the end of their life cycle and the deconstruction phase, there will always remain a strong requirement for a Marine Coordination team on projects. Due to the complex challenges and dynamic nature of building an offshore wind farm, there will always be a need for a human element when it comes to Marine Coordination, to make informed decisions and communications, especially in the event of an emergency.
MCS: Joe thanks a lot for your time. Is there any special message you would like to share with our audience?
Joe: Stay safe during these unique times. Enjoy this opportunity to spend extended time at home, and before long we will all be able to continue with our lives and work as normal, with renewed energy.