From diving and fishing off her family’s boat to working on an offshore installation, Lucy Faulkner thrives on the water.
Guided by her father who taught her safety at sea from a young age, Lucy Faulkner spent her weekends fishing and diving off her family’s charter boat in the Irish Sea. Boat trips around Anglesey, an island on the north coast of Wales, left quite the impression on young Lucy. While she spent the majority of her childhood in Manchester, England, far from the sea, she was inspired by the childhood memories of assisting her father in his charter boat business to enroll at Fleetwood Nautical College to study navigation.
Post-graduation, Lucy’s career has spanned the world, with much of that time in the North Sea, moving up the ranks to second mate. Lucy is currently a marine control room operator on board a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit, a floating vessel used by the offshore oil and gas industry for the production and processing of hydrocarbons and the storage of oil. As a marine control room operator, Lucy manages various operations on board, such as crude oil loading, ballasting and stability, tank entry preps, communications with vessels in the area, all while overseeing the proper operation of her installation’s power plant. Lucy views these past 4 years as a challenging and rewarding experience of “getting dirty on deck!”
Lucy found herself in a dynamic and challenging environment when she stepped foot on a helicopter the first time to join a FPSO. This was an eye-opening experience, well outside her comfort zone. “It was a shock at first and people’s first impressions were that I wouldn’t be able to handle the hard work.” A few trips in and covered in grime, Lucy started to think of the installation as her home, just offshore.
Lucy credits her career on the water as a time of adventure that continues to strengthen her resilience and ability to adapt to different environments. A career offshore can mean a trip around the world, relocating to a different installation. For Lucy, time in Antarctica has been the most rewarding, yet she enjoys the consistent work schedule in the North Sea, just a quick helicopter flight to and from her home country. “Travelling to strange slightly dodgy ports all over the world has opened my eyes and I’ve experienced things not many young women get the chance to; whether good, or bad, it all pays off and creates an excellent work ethic that I have just now!”
Earlier this year, Lucy made a career change by obtaining a role shore-side. While she missed the lifestyle of working offshore, she did her best to embrace the change. “Money isn’t everything. Wanting change should never make you feel like a bad person or a failure; you have to do what’s right for yourself & not for the world you work in.” Three months in, the sea called again so Lucy packed up her bags to once again be a marine control room operator.
Back on the water, Lucy works with just two other women out of 110 personnel on board a FPSO. She wants to see that change, knowing that building not just a network, but a community, of women on the water is an integral part in reducing the gender gap. Here at Women Offshore, Lucy is doing her part, as a member of our community, to support and guide other women in the industry. We are proud of Lucy’s career, where she thrives on the water.
The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to propel women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water. Contact Women Offshore today: firstname.lastname@example.org.