TEIGNMOUTH’s harbour master has bid a fond farewell as he retires at the end of the month after 13 years of service. 

Commander David Vaughan has kept a watchful eye over the Teign estuary since he took on the role at the end of his Naval career in 2008. 

Ensuring everything from swimmers to cargo ships can coexist safely on the water, has been central to his responsibilities that he will ‘sorely miss.’ 

Before arriving at Teignmouth, a rich and varied 35-year career in the Royal Navy saw David rise to the rank of Commander, with four submarines under his supervision including HMS Triumph.

 After some stints overseas, he then took the role of Commander at Dartmouth Naval College. 

His experience in managing large scale operations and personnel at sea made him a perfect fit for ensuring the safe use of the busy waterway in Teignmouth. It is a job that requires constant readiness.

Commander Vaughan said: ‘My days are spent making sure all the people who want to use the river, can use the river.

‘It’s my responsibility to ensure that anyone using the estuary can get the information they need to keep them safe.’

One highlight for the commander was the working with the ‘excellent team’ that he had been with since day one. He said: ‘For me the crowning thing has been building this team’ he explained. ‘We have a core team of around five of us who have worked here the whole time I’ve been here.’  

David is now looking forward to retirement and a world cruise with his wife. ‘I want to show my wife lots of the places I saw on my travels’, he said. ‘Also, a trip a little closer to home that’s been on cards... doing the full South West Coastal Path.’

At a town council ceremony on Monday evening Teignmouth mayor, Cllr Peter Williams, was quick to pay tribute to David’s years of service to the town this week.

He said: ‘On behalf of everyone in Teignmouth I would like to thank Commander David Vaughan for his hard work and diligence over the last 13 years as our Harbour Master. 

‘He has done a superb job managing the port of Teignmouth, ensuring all users from swimmers and paddleboarders to large vessels entering the port are kept safe and has led a great team in the harbour office. I would like to wish Commander Vaughan and his family all the very best for a very long and happy retirement.’