Thomas Anstey

3rd Officer/ Junior DPO (Dynamic Positioning Operator)

I was born/grew up in: Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

I now live in: Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador

I completed my training/education at: Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Describe what you do at work.

Dynamic positioning (DP) is a computer-controlled system to automatically maintain a vessel's position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters. Position reference sensors, combined with wind sensors, motion sensors and gyrocompasses, provide information to the computer pertaining to the vessel's position and the magnitude and direction of environmental forces affecting its position.

As a Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) I work on the ship’s bridge which is the control centre of the ship. I report to and work under the direction of the ship’s master. Our vessel operates on the grand banks of Newfoundland. We transport oil produced by the different offshore production platforms and bring them to market. We sail between Newfoundland, Eastern Canada, and the Eastern United states. I work as part of a team to make sure we follow environmental regulations to prevent possible spills or other accidents.

DP is a computer controlled system that records the vessel’s position and heading. It also collects data from various sensors (e.g., wind sensors, motion sensors, and gyrocompasses) to show where the vessel is. When working near other ships or structures, the DP shows where the ship is in real time. This is important because the vessels I work on can be over 200 metres in length and weigh over 100,000 tonnes. I’m responsible for monitoring the safe day to day operations of the vessel and keeping watch during navigation at sea. I use the DP information to take corrective actions when necessary. I also work to maintain the vessel’s firefighting and lifesaving equipment.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

As part of the vessel’s team, I help keep the crew safe and make sure we do not have negative impacts on the environment.

What motivates you in your career?

The aspects of my job that I enjoy are the day-to-day challenges of working offshore. These include, collision avoidance, monitoring and dealing with prevailing and current weather conditions, and safely loading hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil safely offshore.

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

When I was in school I liked math and enjoyed working with computers. I also liked being outdoors and working with my hands. After I graduated from high school, I entered the Nautical science program at the Marine Institute. This is a four-year program with a mix of classroom work, hands on technology experience, and time at sea. I graduated from this program in June 2016 with a Nautical Science – Diploma of Technology. After graduation I completed the Dynamic Positioning induction course. While I have only been working in this field for about a year and a half, I can say that I truly love it! It’s hard, demanding work but I wouldn’t think of doing anything else.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I like playing sports (Rugby, Football, Basketball), watching sports, playing video games, hiking, fishing and spending time outdoors.

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

Hard work and patience. This is a very rewarding career but takes a lot of time and commitment as there is a lot to lean and it has a lot of responsibility.

CurioCity Careers

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