Current Job Vacancies


North Sunderland Harbour Commission are currently recruiting 


Updated: September 2023


Please see respective job descriptions below...



JOB TITLE: Harbour Master                                      

SALARY: £45K - £70K (Dependent upon experience)


ACCOUNTABLE TO: Harbour Commissioners       

HOURS: Full time 37.5hpw (hours vary between Summer and Winter)


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


The post is full time, with a salary of £45-£70K pa depending on experience.


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


The job will require relocation to beautiful northern 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 is available, as is the forthcoming possibility of a tied 2 bedroom Harbour Masters cottage on the sea front in Seahouses.


Applicants are requested to submit a CV with a passport sized picture along with a typewritten application letter of no more than 3 sides of A4.  The application letter should:

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


The closing date for applications is 1600 Friday, December 8th 2023, shortlisting will begin in December 2023 with interviews in January / February and the successful candidate will be asked to start in April 2024 (or earlier).     


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:


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 Harbours 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 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.


North Sunderland Harbour         

Person Specification for NSH HARBOUR MASTER


This document sets out the essential and desirable skills, knowledge and experience that are considered to be necessary to carry out the duties of the post effectively. It will be used in the short-listing and the interview process for the post. You should demonstrate in your application letter how you meet these criteria.




·        Demonstrable and recent success in a marine or port environment with a minimum of 5 years management experience.


·        Proven excellence in effective communication both verbally and in writing.


·        A high standard of personal organisation, time management and self-discipline.


·        Proven experience in the direct management and successful liaison with employees and regulatory authorities.


·        The ability to develop relationships and deal on a professional basis with all customers of widely varying personalities and social/professional standing.


·        Experience and ability to manage conflict (e.g. balancing priorities in line with stakeholder requirements) and dealing with exceptional circumstances.


·        Ability to cope and react well under pressure.


·        A comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the PMSC, relevant marine legislation and the running of a Ports Safety Management System. 


·        A thorough understanding and application of modern risk assessment techniques. 


·        To be able to efficiently run the harbour on a day to day basis using both statutory and delegated powers including Bye Laws and Harbour Revision Orders behalf of the Harbour Commissioners. 


·        An ability to understand and interpret shipping and port legislation.


·        Flexibility to work out of normal working hours when necessary.


·        To pass a basic medical examination. 




·        Master Mariner CoC or equivalent,


·        Harbour Master/Port Management Diploma.


·        Ship or port security officer training.


·        First Aid Certificate.


·        Understanding of oil pollution contingency planning, ISPS code, Waste Management procedures.


·        An understanding of financial planning and budget management.


·        Full clean driving licence.