Dave Clark, Gun Mechanic

Dave Clark

“I had no experience in seismic but had a good idea as to what was expected. My job whilst in the Royal Navy was in marine engineering serving on submarines”, tells Dave Clark who works as a Gun Mechanic for Atlas Professionals, UK office. He is married to Julie (the girl next door) and they have two kids of 10 years and 7. He worked for the Royal Navy from 1984 until 1999 when he started with Atlas. “The good references and reputation of my fellow ex service friends already successful in the industry must have helped me as the industry was in deep recession.”

“I was changing careers and asked their advice. They suggested seismic and Atlas in particular as a good place to make inroads. I have worked as a gun mechanic in roles from Operator up to Chief and also as a Compressor Mechanic. I have worked for many companies, through Atlas, in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and Persian Gulf Countries to name but a few.”

HSE awareness

“The job of the Gun Mechanic varies quiet a lot as no day is seldom the same. Routine maintenance of all of the back deck winches and associated systems and equipment, all front end in sea spread equipment and the source equipment means that there is plenty to keep you busy. Other duties such as the manufacture and splicing of high strength ropes and various workshop fabrication work and HSE requirements mean that shifts are usually busy. The job of the Gun Mechanic is inherently dangerous due to the heavy lifting that gets carried out in all weathers. Life on a ship is always potentially dangerous but improving HSE awareness helps to reduce the risk exposure.”


“The camaraderie you get when working on various vessels lasts a long time. I have friends all over the world who I keep in contact with. Having good mates to work with makes the work environment a more pleasant experience especially if you are at sea for one and a half months. The staff at Atlas have always been there for me and my family through the good times (births) and the not so good (deaths) whether at sea or at home, what more could you ask for?”


Anything special you want to let us know? Tips for a Gun Mechanic? “Obviously a very good understanding of engineering practices as you are representing Atlas. If you are a poor Engineer then it is not only your reputation that suffers, it is also Atlas's. Some exciting moment of late. I was going out to join a vessel in Nigeria for Christmas 2009. The customs official at the heliport did not like the look of my visa so stopped myself and another British guy from boarding the first chopper out to the vessel. We found out that the chopper ditched into the water whilst making its final approach to the vessel. Thankfully everyone survived the incident and no injuries occurred…”