Guernsey's Harbourmaster prepares for summer retirement

Captain David Barker has been reflecting on his career - which spans nearly half a century - as he looks to retire mid-August.

Captain Barker has been at the helm of St Peter Port harbour and Head of Guernsey Coastguard since 2018.

Born in Lancashire, he moved to Alderney at the age of 13 and was educated at St Anne's School.

Captain Barker says calling the island home for 10 years inspired him to join both the Merchant and Royal Navies, before joining Guernsey Ports.

"It feels like I have gone full circle.

Originally my plan was to become a doctor, but watching the ships go by from the Butes in Alderney and wondering where they were going to and coming from inspired me to instead look at a career at sea.

And now, more by luck than judgement, I end up completing my maritime career back here in the Bailiwick."

He plans to depart the Channel Islands with his wife, Sara, to be closer to their two sons and their families in North Yorkshire.

He says his successor, who has yet to be selected, will have a great team to rely on.

“Everyone at Guernsey Ports is focused on the main aim - keeping Guernsey’s ports safe, secure and open for business.

This is particularly evident when there is an emergency - the way in which the whole team steps up is always a source of pride to me.

It is very similar to the culture within the Royal Navy, where mutual support and loyalty to your teammates is at the heart of everything.

In particular, the strength of the team around me at Harbours gives me great confidence for the future.”

Chief Operating Officer, Ross Coppolo, praised David's dedication.

“David has been an outstanding Harbourmaster for Guernsey Ports over the last six years.

During his tenure, he has effectively restructured the harbours operational team, overseen and successfully delivered several key projects and put in place robust foundations for his successor to build upon.

We wish David all the very best with his well-earned retirement.”

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