Harbour Master – North Sunderland Harbour (Seahouses)

North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners are looking to recruit a full time Harbour Master to provide firm and balanced leadership to help guide and develop this busy port. The applicant should have a proven track record of at least 5 years in harbour management and must be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of modern harbour compliance, be able to evidence the development of positive stakeholder relationships and will need to be able to communicate effectively.

The post is full time, with a salary of £40-£60K pa depending on experience.

A detailed person specification is attached, and a job description is below.

The job will require relocation to beautiful North Northumberland and the Harbour Master will be expected to live in the vicinity of North Sunderland Harbour (NSH), also known as Seahouses. For the right candidate, a relocation package and accommodation package is available.

Applicants are requested to submit a CV with a passport sized picture along with a typewritten application letter of no more than 2 sides of A4.  The application letter should:

  1. Explain how you meet the person specification attached.
  2. Explain why you are applying for this post.
  3. Explain how you might help NSH develop and prosper in the next 5 years.
  4. Describe your notice period in your present employment (if applicable).
  5. Should nominate 2 referees.

The closing date for applications is 16.00 hrs on Friday May 3rd 2024 with interviews mid-May and the successful candidate will be asked to start in June / July 2024.

Applications can be made by post to:

The Harbour Master
North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners
Harbour Road
NE68 7RN
(and marked “for the Attention of the Harbour Master”)

or by email to: harbourmaster@nsh.org.uk

If you have questions or wish to discuss the appointment further, please email with your contact details using the address above and the Harbour Master will get in contact.


The Harbour Master will update and control the Marine Safety Management System and port operations within the NSH Statutory Harbour Limits. The Harbour Master will be expected to maintain port compliance and best practice as outlined by the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and implement the UK maritime regulatory requirements, NSH port policies and to help implement the Harbour Revision Order (HRO) that is under development.


The Harbour Master will:

  • Be expected to execute effective day to day control of all harbour activities throughout the year.
  • Manage and develop port staff and resilience.
  • Develop and maintain a smooth and harmonious relationship with all harbour users by means of direct engagement, information broadcasts and written advice.
  • Able to effectively balance the needs of NSH users and wider stakeholders while also safeguarding the assets and longer term interests of the port.
  • Understand and enforce byelaws, relevant marine legislation and other regulations including the forthcoming HRO.
  • Able to provide of safe operating advice and direction of recreational activities, including slipway leisure usage, leisure moorings, promulgation of navigation and safety information.


  • Promote, implement and if necessary, enforce the safe usage and conduct of all vessels in the harbour.
  • Maintenance of records in connection with the collection of charges through enforcement notices as necessary. In consultation with the Harbour Clerk, control of cash collection and banking process.


  • Manage the safe and efficient mooring of commercial, leisure and fishing vessels in the harbour as well promoting NSH as a welcoming destination for visiting vessels.
  • Implement a mooring and berth registration system and record all vessels using the harbour. In consultation with the Harbour Clerk, ensure records are maintained for the efficient collection of appropriate charges.


  • The Harbour Master is responsible for maintenance schedules of all equipment on the port estate. Records shall be kept for berths, moorings, plant, lifting equipment, oil and fuel tanks, vehicles, and vessels including the upkeep and maintenance of sea survival equipment.
  • Where appropriate, the Harbour Master shall assist in the preparation and letting of tenders for the retail kiosks, kilns, containers, and harbours stores. Freezer stores to be maintained and inspected, ensuring the implementation of safe working practices.


  • The Harbour Master shall act as safety officer, developing and reviewing codes of conduct and guidance for staff and other harbour users respectively and the management of the training and development of harbour staff as recommended in the Port Marine Safety Code.
  • The Harbour Master shall be responsible for North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners premises and property maintenance including the Health & Safety and cleanliness of the Harbour.


  • The Harbour Master will be expected to attend the meetings of the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners. The Harbour Master shall represent the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners when engaging with UK regulatory agencies, harbour and land-based stakeholders, recreation and other user groups where appropriate.


  • Assist in the development of the harbour’s environmental and conservation aims in accordance with the harbour management plan and port waste management plan (when written) as well as national and international conservation regulations.


  • The Harbour Master shall be responsible for controlling any emergency incident traffic within harbour limits, provide initial emergency response as necessary and liaise with other emergency agencies as appropriate. The Harbour Master shall maintain and exercise the harbour emergency plan and oil spill response plan as required by national guidance.


  • This position involves a requirement for significant engagement and relationship building with individual harbour users and the wider harbour stakeholders, the post holder will be expected to manage and regularly engage with all customers in a helpful, considerate, fair and polite manner.
  • The Commissioners expect all employees to show a high degree of commitment and to consider themselves as representatives of the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners when engaging directly harbour users and the public. The promotion of safety in the harbour is of primary importance when interacting with customers.
  • The post holder will be responsible for the harbour office and will be required to answer enquiries/complaints, provide information, take cash, issue receipts in accordance with North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners procedures.
  • The post holder will be required to have some financial acumen and be responsible for a budget set by the Harbour Commissioners.
  • The post holder will be required to supervise the activities of permanent and seasonal staff both in the harbour office and on public quaysides and slipways.
  • The hours of duty of the post are full time, hours will vary between Summer and Winter, including weekends and ‘call out’ requirements, as necessary.

Please click on the View/Download Document link below to view a comprehensive Person Specification:

Attached file: View/Download document