Dave Warburton

We are really sorry to have to relay the sad news of the passing of Dave Warburton.  Dave had 30 years with the company, serving at sea and working in the office.  His roles included Chief Engineer Officer (CEO) on board OCL, P&OCL and P&O Nedlloyd ships, Engineering Superintendent based in Beagle House and PONL’s construction site manager for the building of five new ships in Germany.

Dave had attended Wellacre Secondary Modern School at Flixton near Manchester. He left the school in 1966 to become an indentured apprentice with Proctor & Gamble, splitting his time between the Manchester Factory Power Station and Stockport Technical College.

On completion of his apprenticeship in 1971, Dave joined P&O General Cargo Division (GCD).  He worked his way up through the engineering officer ranks gaining his senior qualifications to become Chief Engineer Officer in 1982.  During that period he also moved from P&O Group to Overseas Containers Limited (OCL).  In 1983 he was the Mechanical Supervisor for the conversion of the Remuera Bay from steam to diesel propulsion at the IHI shipyard in Nagoya, Japan.   

David Warburton, 



The P&O Nedlloyd Sydney, one of the vessels that Dave Warburton oversaw construction of at the Kvaerner Warnow Yard in Rostock,  Germany.

After a period back at sea, Dave returned to a shore-based role in 1987 as Engineering Superintendent, responsible for the operation of six P&O Containers’ vessels.  The following year he returned to sea, but came ashore again from 1997-1999 as construction site manager for the building of five 2,890 TEU vessels at the Kvaerner Warnow Yard in Rostock,  Germany (P&O Nedlloyd Auckland, P&O Nedlloyd Genoa, P&O Nedlloyd Jakarta, P&O Nedlloyd Marseille and P&O Nedlloyd Sydney).    

In 2001 Dave left P&O Nedlloyd to join Houlder Offshore Engineering as a project manager.  In his 3+ years there he worked on various marine construction and modification contracts including a number for the UK’s Ministry of Defence.  In 2004 Dave moved again, this time spending seven years at PRONAV Ship Management as their Fleet Manager.  He returned to Houlder as Principal Marine Engineer from 2012-2015 but by then was also operating his own company, Warburton Marine Consultancy Ltd. 

In retirement Dave was a very active member of the ex-sea staff Facebook group ‘OCL Bay Boats’.  He shared many memories of his time with the company along with fascinating photographstaken on various ships in the fleet.  When his passing was announced on there by a former colleague, the many responses from former shipmates clearly evidenced how highly Dave was thought of by many, both as a professional engineer and as a person.  Below are just a few examples:

Remuera Bay arriving in the IHI yard in Nagoya, July 1983 (image shared by Dave Warburton on the OCL Bay Boats Facebook group)

David’s wife Yvonne has kindly passed on the funeral details.  The service will take place on Wednesday 29 March at 14:30 at the Harbour View Crematorium, Randalls Hill, Lytchett Minster, Poole BH16 6AN.  Yvonne has said that she would be happy to see any ex-colleagues and friends at the funeral, but would like an idea of numbers if possible for catering purposes.  If you wish to attend but do not have her contact details then please drop an email to ponlheritage@gmail.com.

Finally, we would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Yvonne and Dave’s family and friends.  We know that he will be very much missed.