On 3rd September, Merchant Navy Day, the UK Government honoured Captain John Pearn with a Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service. This is the highest medal of honour within the maritime sector and it recognises John’s lifetime of service to marine pilotage and safety.

John joined the Port’s skilled team of pilots in 1992 and has since become an exemplary ambassador for marine pilotage. He played a key role in the safe introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas vessels to the Milford Haven Waterway and has worked tirelessly within the wider UK, European and worldwide piloting communities to improve safety. He has collaborated with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Department for Transport, British Ports Association and UK Harbour Masters Association, whilst also promoting safety internationally at the International Maritime Organisation. He has served as the Chairman of the UK Maritime Pilots Association, crusading for Piloting safety standards, served as Vice President of the International Maritime Pilots Association, and still holds a key role on the Pilot Ladder Safety Committee, continuing to contribute to improving safety standards.

Tom Sawyer, Chief Executive at the Port, said: “We are unutterably proud of John. We can think of no better way to honour his lifetime commitment to improving the industry and the lives of those who work in it. As a key part of the UK’s maritime sector, we recognise and celebrate the dedication and diligence of all seafarers that the Merchant Navy Medals honours and send our congratulations to all recipients of this year’s awards.”

John is one of 11 seafarers recognised in the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service. These awards focus on the often overlooked but nationally important work carried out by the men and women in merchant navy, and their role in ensuring the safe movement of 95% of UK trade. It’s a particularly important part of Pembrokeshire life with so many families working within this community along the Milford Haven Waterway.

Maritime pilots are responsible for the safe movements of vessels in pre-determined locations in accordance with the 1987 Pilotage Act. Here on the Milford Haven Waterway, except for a few cases, pilotage is compulsory for all ships, or tug and tow combinations, of 50 metres or more in length overall, with some vessels even requiring two pilots.


Photo caption: Captain John Pearn, pilot at the Port of Milford Haven, has been awarded a Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service

Notes to Editors:
The Port of Milford Haven is the UK’s top energy port and Wales’ busiest port handling around 20% of Britain’s seaborne trade in oil and gas. It is widely recognised in the industry as the energy capital of the UK.

The Port, along with the cluster of energy-related businesses along the Waterway, is a key driver of economic activity in Pembrokeshire, attracting inward investment and supporting over 4,000 jobs.

The Port of Milford Haven also owns and operates Pembroke Port and Milford Waterfront. Activities such as cargo handling, ferry operations, fish landing and cruise calls as well as a first class marina are spread across these two sites.

One of the most prominent on the West Coast, the Port is in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only Coastal National Park in Great Britain. It is marked as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and has many areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Port of Milford Haven is a trust port – an independent, commercially run organisation that has statutory responsibilities governed by its Acts, to maintain and improve navigation and the provision of Port and Harbour services and facilities. Additionally, the Port provides significant financial and in-kind support to a wide variety of local causes. All profits are retained within the business to fund these objectives.

For further information, visit www.mhpa.co.uk or contact:
Anna Malloy
Port of Milford Haven
01646 696100