Address & Phone No.

Ship Handling Training & Research Centre

Port Ash provides training in ship handling for Masters, Ship’s Officers and Pilots, using experienced Pilots as instructors.
Port Ash manned ship-model simulator is a purpose built facility. It specialises in the practical aspects of ship handling and the control of ships at low speeds in confined and shallow waters with and without tug assistance.

The Centre utilises manned ship- models to provide practical hands on training on its purpose built 2 Ha (5 acre) port, at Port Ash, located 35 minutes north of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

The Team at Port Ash

Cliff Beazley

Captain Clifford Beazley   AM  MNI

Managing Director

Cliff commenced his seagoing career in 1959 as Midshipman with Alfred Holt and Company, Blue Funnel Line, UK.

Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he then sailed as 3rd officer with MacAndrews Line, before emigrating from England to Australia in 1964.

Cliff then joined Howard Smith Ltd as third officer, and served for 10 years on tankers and bulk carriers, the last 3 years in command.

In 1973 he joined the Newcastle Pilot service, which at that time was owned by the Maritime Services Board of NSW.

He served for 27 years as a Pilot, the last 8 years as a Check Pilot for the Port of Newcastle.

In 2000, Cliff retired as a Check Pilot from the Newcastle Port Corporation, and then went on to establish Port Ash.

Port Ash commenced operations in 2001, thereby providing manned ship model training in Australia.

Captain Chris Coy

Captain Chris Coy

Facilitator / Instructor

Chris commenced his Maritime career as a Cadet in Port Line, part of the Cunard Group. He then joined John Swire London, and rose to command at the age of 29.

He spent 14 Years as Captain of Passenger/Cargo/Bulk/Pilgrim/Off Shore and Adventure Cruise Ships, trading worldwide from Antarctica to the Artic.

Chris was asked to join the Pilot Service in Melbourne (Port Phillip Pilot Service), the busiest container port in the southern hemisphere. The company also serviced the bulk and oil export ports of Geelong and Portland at the time.

He was also a Check Pilot, and an examiner of Pilots and Exempt Masters.

Chris has been a instructor/facilitator at Port Ash since 2012.

Bio Pic Captain Barry Keeble

Captain Barry Keeble

Facilitator / Instructor

Following completion of his pre-sea training at the school of navigation, Warsash UK, Barry served his four year apprenticeship with the London based company Furness Withy Group.

Barry then joined the China Navigation Company, Hong Kong, and sailed for twenty three years in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Australian, and world wide trades in General Cargo, Container, Bulk and Passenger ships, with 13 years in command.

He then joined the Sydney Pilotage Service, spending twenty one years piloting a range of vessels including passenger ships in the Ports of Sydney and Botany Bay.

Barry was also a Quality Assurance Manager and Auditor for the Sydney Pilot Service.

Barry commenced as an instructor/facilitator at Port Ash in 2010, following his retirement from the pilotage service in Sydney.

des kinsella

Captain Des Kinsella

Facilitator / Instructor

Des commenced his maritime career in 1955 with The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd (BHP) as a Deck Cadet.

He served with BHP for 27 years, the last 10 years in command.

During that time Des had command of 13 bulk carriers and a heavy lift vessel.

Des also obtained numerous pilotage exemptions for various Australian ports.

He commenced his pilotage career in 1982, joining the Newcastle Pilot service, and retired as a Marine Pilot in 1998.

Des has been an instructor/facilitator at Port Ash since it commenced operation in 2001.

Bio Pic Captain John Lunn

Captain John Lunn

Facilitator / Instructor

John commenced his seagoing career in 1960, joining the British India Steam Navigation Company as Cadet, finally sailing as Chief Officer on vessels trading between the Arabian Gulf and India, and trading between Australia and Japan.

He then joined Howard Smith Industries and served for 16 years, sailing as Master on Tankers and Bulk Carriers on Australian coastal and international trades.

In 1988 John commenced his piloting career as a Marine Pilot for Sydney and Botany Bay with the Maritime Services Board of NSW.

With the formation of Sydney Sea Pilots Pty Ltd in 1995 as the pilotage provider for Sydney and Botany Bay, he was appointed General Manager of the Pilot owned company.

In 2005 John was appointed Pilot Manager for the Sydney Pilot Service Pty Ltd, the pilot service being taken over by the Sydney Ports Corporation in 2002, and retired from active pilot duty in December 2006.

Following retirement, from 2007 – 2008, he was employed by the Sydney Pilot Service Pty Ltd to implement and maintain their Safety Management System for the pilotage service.

John has been an instructor/facilitator at Port Ash since 2007.

Bio Pic Captain Chris Thompson

Captain Chris Thompson

Facilitator / Instructor

Chris commenced his seagoing career in 1960, serving on Australian and International trading vessels with the Eastern and Australian SS Co. , Howard Smith Ltd, and the Australia Japan Container Line.

He commenced his piloting career in 1976, joining the Marine Board of Hobart, Tasmania, as Assistant Harbour Master/Pilot.

Chris served in this role for 23 years, the last five years as Harbour Master and Senior Pilot for the Hobart Ports Corporation six ports.

In May 1999 he joined Queensland Tug & Salvage in Brisbane as Operations Manager and Bundaberg Port pilot, and following the takeover by Adsteam Marine in 2001, he was promoted Queensland Manager for tugs in all Queensland ports.

In November 2002, Chris was appointed Director (Pilotage Services) to manage Maritime Safety Queensland’s pilots and pilotage operations, including boat and helicopter transfers, in the 14 commercial ports north of Brisbane.

Chris has performed over 6,000 pilotage acts and held a valid Queensland pilot licence for the Port of Bundaberg until his retirement in March 2010.

He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Business and is a retired Commander RFD in the RAN.

Chris has been an instructor/facilitator at Port Ash since 2010.

Bio Pic Captain Andy Traill

Captain Andy Traill

Facilitator / Instructor

Andrew served 22 years in the BHP Fleet, the last four as Master on a variety of their vessels.

He obtained a pilotage exemption for Port Kembla and had many “pilotage experiences” in remote ports where no pilots were available.

Andrew moved to Cairns in 1990 after being appointed as a Great Barrier Reef Pilot, and became the first Check Pilot appointed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in 2003.

As a reef pilot, Andrew was licensed for all areas of the Great Barrier Reef, and all vessel drafts, as well as being a member of the cruise ship pilots roster.

In addition to reef pilotage, Andrew became a licensed pilot for the Northern Territory ports of Gove and Groote Eylandt in 2001, and subsequently a Training and Check Pilot for those ports.

Andrew commenced as a Port Ash Instructor/Facilitator in 2007.

Bio Pic Captain Tim Turner

Captain Tim Turner    PSM   MC1

Facilitator / Instructor

Tim commenced his sea going career in 1964 with BP Tankers and served for seven years, before emigrating from England to Australia.

He then joined Associated Steamships Pty Ltd and served for eighteen years, the final five years in command.

Tim then joined the pilot service in the Port of Newcastle and piloted for twenty three years, the last twelve years as the Harbour Master.

He has extensive experience in electronic simulators, and has been involved with Pilot Training for nineteen years.

Tim has been an instructor/facilitator at Port Ash since 2013.