Jimmy Buchan, from BBC series Trawlermen, will be in Great Yarmouth for the first UK and Ireland Vessel Co-operative Conference

Offshore firms, fishermen and boat owners meeting in Great Yarmouth for ‘the biggest meeting of energy firms the east coast has ever seen’

Monday, February 25, 2013
12.05 PM

Major players from the energy and fishing industries will gather on the east coast tomorrow to find out how a growing co-operative of small companies is helping to shape the future.

The first UK and Ireland Vessel Co-operative Conference will see vessel owners, energy companies and offshore workers from the whole of Britain’s coast - from the Outer Hebrides to the Isle of Wight, talk about their roles in the fast-growing renewables industry and how they fit together.

Jimmy Buchan and Chaz Bruce, fishermen who star in the popular television show Trawlermen, will attend to see for themselves how the industry is shaping lives in East Anglia and talk about challenges facing their industry.

EastPortUK will be there to determine interest in using Great Yarmouth as a main port of operations for the planned East Anglian Array wind farms.

Other speakers include Ian Pease of Lowestoft College who will give a talk on the skills and training young people need to work on wind farm support vessels.

The event, which takes place at the Furzedown Hotel in Yarmouth from 9.30am, has been organised Richard Brookin, a former Caister lifeboat man who now runs Energy Marine Services, and Andy Iannetta from Offshore Marine Support.

One of the main aims is give the smaller companies and single vessel owners a chance to get work in the industry.

“The conference is going to cover a range of subjects including projects that are taking place around the UK, vessel requirements, health and safety at sea, and what our cooperative is able to do in the growing offshore industry,” said Mr Brookin.

Mr Brookin believes the conference, sponsored by KPM-Marine, EastPortUK, CLS Offshore, Clydeside Surveys, Norfolk Larder, Gamrie Trawls, Simpson Fishing, DR Diesels, Lowestoft College and Ocean Safety, will be the biggest meeting of energy firms the east coast has ever seen.

On Wednesday morning, co-operative members including Mr Buchan will visit Scroby Sands wind farm on a newly-built turbine servicing vessel.

The 18m Challenger, built by cooperative member Mick Latham in Lowestoft, will be used to transport windfarm engineers offshore on a daily basis to both maintain and construct turbines.

In the afternoon, Mr Buchan will visit Caister lifeboat station to meet the public and sign copies of a new book.

For more information about tomorrow’s conference, visit www.offshoremarinesupport.com.