New harbourmaster takes the helm at Portsmouth International Port

Ben McInnes has joined Portsmouth International Port as the new Harbour Master, following the retirement of Rupert Taylor, who retires after nearly 30 years at the port.

Rupert is a familiar face at Portsmouth International Port with nearly three decades service under his belt. Having joined as assistant harbour master in 1990, ten years later, he was then promoted to harbour master.

Rupert Taylor, the retiring harbour master said: “The time has passed by so quickly. It’s been exciting to be involved with so much change, and a delight to play a part in helping Portsmouth International Port go from strength to strength. Investment in new facilities over the years has made a big difference, and the future plans will help to ensure that the number of ships visiting the port can continue to increase.”

Rupert’s successor Ben McInnes was born and bred in Portsmouth, and spent his childhood playing around on boats in Portsmouth Harbour. Ben first went to sea from Portsmouth International Port as an assistant steward on the Pride of Bilbao, washing dishes and making bunks. He then set sail with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) on a 12 year career from cadet, to first officer, gaining master mariner certification in the process.

Ben McInnes, the port’s new harbour master said: “I felt very lucky to get the role of pilot and deputy harbour master at Portsmouth International Port, and I am immensely proud to have been offered the harbour master position. I have a passion for the city, the harbour and of course the football club. I look forward to building on Rupert’s work, and helping to keep the harbour safe, clean, successful and prosperous, as we look to expand the business for the future.”

Mike Sellers, Port Director added: “During his time at Portsmouth, Rupert has gone above and beyond to help promote the port, helping to secure our existing cruise calls alongside carrying out his statutory role with the utmost professionalism at all times. We all wish him well in his retirement.

“I’m looking forward to working with Ben in his new role, which I have every confidence he will excel at. He takes on the position at a very exciting time for us as construction will soon commence on extending our cruise berth.”

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