On board the world’s most advanced cable-laying vessel: NKT Victoria

Charles Hunter began his career at a processing plant in Inverness working as a Finishing End Co-ordinator. In 2007, Charles was accepted into a trainee-rigging programme and since then he has worked on a variety of projects offshore. “When I was working in the processing plant, I knew a number of people who were moving into the Oil & Gas industries,” says Charles, “I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. I was only a month into my programme when I got to work on my first vessel in the UK. We were carrying out the installation and spooling of crane ropes: from then on I was hooked.”

NKT Victoria

Recently, Charles has been working on the NKT Victoria, the world’s most advanced cable-laying vessel. The vessel is owned by NKT, a globally recognised provider of turnkey AC/DC cable solutions and services. The vessel is equipped with an ROV, Sonar, a carousel and spooling system that will enable a high-precision cable-lay for flexible pipe, umbilical and power cables. “The Victoria is a gorgeous vessel,” says Charles, “I was working in the carousel and spooling system, stacking up the cable whilst an articulated boom arm guided the cable into position. There’s a great atmosphere on board the Victoria, and the crew were very welcoming and were keen to get on with the project.”

Photoshoot offshore

Atlas got the opportunity to visit the vessel in Karlskrona in Sweden, “My Account Manager, Ffion Rossiter visited the vessel, as Atlas had organised a photoshoot on board. That was a fun experience, the photographer was eager to get the best photos of the vessel, and a lot of the crew got involved. I have only been working through Atlas for a short time but the process has been brilliant. I sent through my CV and certificates and within a week I was on a plane.”

Future plan

“I was speaking to my Offshore Manager recently and he suggested that I should look at a career in QHSE. I am 41 years old and lifting big shackles and dragging them around the deck gets harder to do. Safety is paramount offshore; every Professional on board must stay focused to ensure the safety of others. It is interesting to think about how much of an impact your role has to the progression of the project. I think QHSE would be an interesting path for me further down the line.

“It takes someone with a hardy personality to take on a job like this. Working for long periods of time offshore and getting used to sleeping on a vessel in bad weather takes some getting used to.”