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Surveying the port’s maritime renaissance

A GRIMSBY-area marine surveyor is taking his business to the next level in the town as he builds on a renaissance in vessel movements at home, while exploring international opportunities.

Surveying the port’s maritime renaissance

Allan Larsen is managing director of Larsens Marine Surveyors & Consultants Ltd, and is looking to grow like the port’s own maritime might is once again.

This summer the company will exhibit at Seawork International for the first time, with the Southampton annual show widely regarded as Europe’s largest commercial and marine workboat event.

The company, currently on the look-out for premises as it expands from the Holton-le-Clay home base having added additional staff, provides a wide range of services to the maritime industry, including ship and boat surveys, MCA workboat code of practice surveys and expert witness services.

The largest area of business is in training, education and continued professional development, something Mr Larsen is well versed in himself.

Fresh out of Scottish high school he joined the Merchant Navy at 16, and qualified as a marine engineer and officer at 20, going on to work in ship repair and design, becoming chief engineer for a shipyard in Glasgow. He went on to join a multi-national survey company, relocating to Newcastle, Grimsby then Paris, commuting to the latter from 2007 to 2015, having met the woman who would become his wife. He then decided to go it alone, having launched a consultancy as an aside in 2013.

Director and vice president of Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors, Mr Larsen is also a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

“We are a small local company, and we are growing and I want to increase the size further,” he said. “We certify workboats which is a big thing now for Grimsby. The number has really taken off with the offshore wind industry. Hopefully we’ll get even more work here and see it grow again.

“We are a local company working very much internationally; we can jump on a plane and go anywhere. It is very exciting, we love it.”

While happy to travel, Larsens also has a global network of associates it can call upon, while a total of 200 students a year go through courses up to Level Six Diploma with Lloyds Maritime Academy on material he has written for distance learning.

The business turned five in January, and also features wife Lynsey as a director, with Karl Pizzey having joined with no marine experience, but now, like Mrs Larsen, is level six qualified, and has become the course director.

“We want to start pushing what we do here,” he said. “We want to be on board local boats, here. We are looking to make ourselves more visible to the small craft industry.”

Expert witness is another crucial role, with accident reports for personal injury or damaged cargo. One prominent case has seen his work used in the Court of Arbitration in the Hague for a Russian vessel and Greenpeace’s Artic Sunrise, when it was opened fire on.

Looking ahead to Seawork, which is expected to attract more than 7,600 industry professionals, Mr Larsen added: “Seawork 2018 will be the first time we have exhibited since inception five years ago. We visited the show in 2017 and realised how well respected and attended it is. The visitor profile is perfectly matched for us and we look forward to using the event as a platform to showcase our portfolio of services to the workboat and wider marine audience.”

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