#DYWKeyworker - Daniel Skinner - Port of Cromarty Firth

Friday, 29th May 2020

Name: Daniel Skinner

Job Title: Base Operative-

September 2018-April 2019

Operations Coordinator- April 2019-Present

Company: Port of Cromarty Firth

Hometown: Tain

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

I have grown up seeing rigs and boats in the Firth so I have always felt connected to the industry from a young age. A lot of my family have worked offshore in the Oil and Gas industry and on boats so I always hoped to follow in their footsteps.

How long have you been with the company?

Nearly two years

Describe your day-to-day role;

Liaising with facility users. Liaising with Port Security. Monitoring the site to ensure that it is safe.

Mooring and unmooring of ships/rigs

Providing fresh water to Ships/Rigs

Dealing with permits (bunkering/fuel, hot work permits etc)

Communicating with Operations Manager/Port’s HSE team and accounts team.

Assisting with maintenance duties.

Dealing with emails/phone calls.

Erecting temporary fencing to segregate different Port users working and storage areas.

From March-September we are busy with Cruise liners coming into Invergordon. I communicate with one of the Port’s Pilots who navigates the ship in. I communicate with the Pilot via a VHF radio and get the ship into a suitable position alongside the quayside. My team and I will then set up the quayside with crowd control barriers and the passengers can then disembark. Most Cruise liners request fresh water which we will set up for the ship. Sometimes they also request fuel which our onsite fuel supplier will provide. I will then write up a bunkering permit describing the task and how much fuel is going to be delivered. We will then patrol the site throughout the day to ensure that everything is running smoothly for Port Security, cruise passengers and the crew.

In the winter we are very busy with our winter maintenance programme. We grit the roads and paths at the Port to ensure that everyone can get into work and leave work safely.

What kind of training have you done?Have you completed any professional qualifications?

IOSH Managing Safely

Health and Safety incident investigation

Telehandler/forklift training

Vehicle banksman training

Slinging and signalling

Mooring training

VHF Radio training

Emergency First Aid at work

Defusing conflict and aggression training

Asbestos awareness

Legionella awareness

Fire extinguisher training

Manual handling

Abrasive wheels training

and many more…

What skills have you learned?

All of the above. My communication skills are constantly improving as I deal with so many people as cruise liners/ boats and rigs come into the Firth.

Do you like living and working in the Inverness & Highlands?

I love living and working in the Highlands as the scenery is stunning, it is quiet and everyone is very friendly.

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

I would say communicating is one of the most important skills as you are constantly in contact with colleagues and also customers.

Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

I was surprised at how busy we are all year round. From March-September we are very busy with Cruise Liners. Out with these months we have rigs coming alongside for maintenance and repairs and also have various ships coming alongside such as cargo vessels and workboats.

Is there anything unusual about your role?

I think it is quite unusual to have a job that is so varied. I enjoy this however as every day is different.

Do you get a lot of support from your company?

Yes. The company is very supportive and look after their employees. They are very good at providing us with good training courses

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Meeting new people from all around the world. Working outside. Communicating with people

Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?


What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

Always show that you are keen to improve and learn new skills. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as that is how you get better. Practice makes perfect. Making small sacrifices at a young age will pay off in the long term.

What is your career goal?

I hope that as I continue to work hard and learn new skills that I will get the opportunity to progress on to different roles within the company.

How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19?

I think it is rewarding to be seen as been a keyworker. However I think the real heroes are our NHS staff who are putting their own lives at risk to help others

Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker?

I am proud to be seen as a keyworker as I know that I am doing a little bit to help the country progress out of this difficult time we are all experiencing.