It is hard to believe that Vessel Assurance Officer Peter West has been with SFF Services for almost a year.   In that time Peter has carried out over 240 vessel inspections.

Peter initially started working for SFFSL as a Fisheries Liaison Officer following several years as a fisherman, twenty of those skippering the “Golden West” and then the “Golden West II”. Peter’s experience not only as a fisherman, but from his time serving aboard offshore industry vessels gives him a unique perspective on health and safety expectations and requirements. While Peter was working offshore he completed the NEBOSH training and implements the principles garnered on every vessel he visits.

2013 has been another very busy year for SFF Services. Over the last 12 months 147 vessels have been utilised, with over 500 mobilisations – as a result Peter and the whole inspection team have been very busy carrying out more vessel inspections than in any previous year – currently standing at 285. This year in particular has seen an increasing demand from SFFSL’s various clients for, in addition to the standard inspection documentation, client specific papers.

Not only does an inspection give an opportunity to look over a vessel and ensure it complies with pertinent legislation – including crew certificates and relevant safety items, but also that general standards are high. It also allows for a detailed brief of the job ahead to be carried out face to face. This is particularly beneficial to vessels that are new to guard work, or are going on a job for the first time. Often clients take time to visit vessels at this stage and conduct their own audit in conjunction with SFFSL’s inspector. It is an ideal chance to show directly to representatives from the oil and gas industry the professional attitude of Skippers and crew but also displays the rigorous health and safety standards SFF Services expect and demand.

In early March Peter, John Buchan and Steven Alexander travelled up to Lerwick to carry out inspections on the Shetland Fleet. The majority of inspections however, are carried out in North East ports – usually Fraserburgh or Peterhead, Peter has also ventured to Macduff, Buckie and into Aberdeen.

In recent months Peter has also been assisting Marine Safety Officer Derek Cardno with the distribution of the Personal Flotation Devices; handed out as part of a scheme managed by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation to deliver a free PFD to every eligible fisher in Scotland. Peter has been instructing crews on the use and maintenance of the device.