Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Crew members need to be prepared for all kinds of onboard eventualities.  This is particularly the case for the cruise sector, which is subject to the same stringent regulations and onboard safety aspects as the entire shipping industry but with the added challenge of hundreds of onboard passengers whose wellbeing also has to be taken into account.

No matter the preparation, however, shipping can often throw a curveball and for Joshua McCready, Brookes Bell’s newest Marine Engineer based in Liverpool, his at-sea career was bookended by two of the cruise sector’s biggest incidents: COSTA CONCORDIA and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I started my career on cruise vessels in 2012 just days after the COSTA CONCORDIA incident off the coast of Italy and ended it onboard the ZAANDAM that was locked down due to an outbreak of coronavirus,” he said.

“I was onboard for four months, which is quite fortunate compared to other ships, travelling from Chile to Florida.  We had a number of cases onboard that meant we could not dock.  As an engineer, we were fortunate enough to have our own little bubble that meant we were kept away from the passenger areas.  We could access all the areas we needed, you could social distance in the engine room and we had fresh air blowing in the whole time.  The whole experience was entirely surreal for me as an engineer and certainly not something I was prepared for,” he added.  “We eventually sailed to the Netherlands, finally disembarking via a pilot ladder to a fishing boat being used to ferry crew to and from the various ships.”

Joshua joined the industry as an Engineering Cadet with Holland America Line and during his cadetship gained his Foundation Degree in Marine Engineering and Management from Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton and achieving an Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) Certificate from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.  During his nine-year career at Holland America Line, Joshua worked his way from 4th Engineer to 2nd Engineer.

With the impact of the pandemic restricting opportunities in the global cruise sector, Joshua left the cruise industry for an Irish Sea Ro-Pax, enjoying spending some more time at home.  After two-and-a-half years, including time spent as Chief Engineer, Joshua joined Brookes Bell in December 2023 as a Marine Engineer.  In his role, he is providing consultancy expertise on a number of cases, including bunker quality and quantity disputes, engine failure investigations, stern tube failures and hull damage investigations.

Joshua noted that his first few months at Brookes Bell has been very hands-on with a number of major incidents he has had to respond to already.  “I joined towards the end of December and shortly after a tanker was being towed into the south of England due to a bunker issue and I was part of the Brookes Bell team that spent Christmas onboard in response to the incident.  It was a real insight into the kind of work and immediate support that Brookes Bell is providing the global shipping industry.”

With his feet now firmly under the table at Brookes Bell’s Liverpool office, Joshua noted that his past experience with passenger ships and roll-on/roll-off vessels will enable Brookes Bell to broaden its portfolio and be able to support more client work in these two sectors.

“As a Marine Engineer at Brookes Bell, we are always looking to cater to all kinds of vessels and passenger ships and Ro-Ros are two vessel types where we can certainly expand our offerings and support vessels’ owners with machinery failures that can be costly and dangerous.  I’m hoping my experience onboard these vessels can come in useful to the wider Brookes Bell team,” he said.

With that in mind, Joshua noted that he is also interested in expanding his knowledge to learn more about the salvage and wreck services that Brookes Bell takes a key interest in, particularly learning from its dedicated Special Casualty Representatives that play a critical role in modern salvage operations.

“I’m up for all kinds of experiences with Brookes Bell.  The company does a lot of interesting work all around the world and I’m looking to get stuck in with some fascinating cases going forward,” Joshua added.

Anthony York
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