National Marine Week – The best job in Teesside

05 August 2020 by CSG

National Marine Week is the UK’s annual focus on the protection of coastline environments – and allows us to turn the spotlight on a unique vehicle in the CSG fleet.

Plying its trade on the river Tees is our very own bilge barge, the Erimus Star. This grand old vessel plays a vital role in supporting the local shipping economy and helping to recycle as much marine oil as possible.

Chief skipper Toby Williams explained why he believes he has the best job on Teesside.

“I sail the Erimus Star two days per week and love every part of being on board.

“Our job is to radio ships as they come into port and sail right up alongside them if they have bilge or oil that needs pumping out.

“We are the only barge on the Tees offering this service, which is more efficient for the ships than docking somewhere that a traditional tanker lorry can reach them.

“The waste we collect is taken to one of CSG’s oil treatment plants, helping to recover as much of this vital resource as possible and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. That is the driving philosophy of CSG.”

The Erimus Star is almost 60 years old, and one of Toby’s tasks is to keep her shipshape.

“There is always some maintenance or cleaning to do on the boat, but it is a real labour of love” he said. “Working on board is so calm and the view on the river changes constantly.”

When not on board the barge, Toby drives a tanker lorry collecting waste oil from customers across the North East.

“With the scale of investment in Teesport bringing more traffic onto the river, it has never been more important for CSG to service the ships, helping to improve the efficiency of the port and ensure the river environment is protected,” he added.

National Marine Week lasts for 15 days to allow for tidal variations around the country. Individual Wildlife Trusts are organising a range of physical and virtual events such as beach art competitions, seashore detective sessions and driftwood sculpture workshops.

CSG employs more than 500 people nationally, supporting a national network of waste treatment and recycling service centres.