You become each other’s family in a way, everybody's looking out for everybody else.
Darren Phillips
Offshore Installation Manager

Darren Phillips has been with Bluewater for 17 years. He started out as a Marine Technician and subsequently became Lead Marine Technician and Marine Superintendent. In 2018, he became Offshore Installation Manager.  

After leaving school, I joined the merchant navy and became navigating officer on a vessel transporting various chemical products. I saw a lot of the world and then transitioned into working closer from home, in anchor handling tugs which are used for mobile oil rig transportation. A few years later, I started working in the oil and gas industry, on a floating accommodation vessel for a platform being constructed west of Shetland. 

After working on an FPSO for about a year for another company, I joined Bluewater as a marine technician in 2006 and I’ve been here ever since. I became Lead Marine technician in 2009 and then in 2013, I became Marine Superintendent, which is the department head. This involved a lot of forward planning as well as many different aspects from the business and technical sides, with some exposure to budgetary considerations. Next, I started studying for the position of Offshore Installation Manager. 

Strong team spirit

The further you move up the chain, the more you have an overview of the complexities in our business. You get to understand why you can’t do certain things at certain times. When you’re working on the shop floor, so to speak, there’s a lot you don’t see! We encourage the engineers and the onshore team to come out and visit us as often as they can. Getting them out here so they can see what the challenges are, how everything fits together, and why solutions that work on land won’t work at sea, saves us a lot of emails and phone calls. Much of what I learned in the Merchant Navy has proven helpful: being used to ongoing training, for example, as well as working with multidisciplinary teams and with people of different nationalities. Working at sea is completely different to working on land. If a fire breaks out, you can’t gather in the car park and let the emergency services deal with it. Everyone has several skills they can put into use in an emergency. We live and work in a confined space for weeks on end, so you must get along. You can’t just have a falling out and avoid each other. Company values and a sense of humour are essential. You work at sea for several weeks, and then spend several weeks at home, but we do have a really strong team spirit. 

Great company to work for

You get to know your work colleagues really well. I don't see them often when I go home - we just want to spend time with our families. But when you come back you become each other’s family in a way, everybody's looking out for everybody else. Colleagues also go out of their way to help you develop. I’ve always received good guidance. People are often promoted from within, so you end up working together for years. Even though it’s a decent sized company, everybody knows everybody at Bluewater. Once you've met somebody and had a five-minute chat, it's much easier to engage with them going forward. People have been here for ten or fifteen years. I'm in my seventeenth year, but some colleagues have been here for almost 25 years. We've even had people leaving the company, then coming back! That shows Bluewater is a great company to work for.

Interested in working at Bluewater?

Apply now for one of our vacancies.


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