About us

The Nautical Institute is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Our aim is to promote professionalism, best practice and safety throughout the maritime industry and to represent the interests of our members.


Our aims and objectives

- To provide the strongest possible professional focus, dedicated to improving standards of those involved in control of seagoing craft, while maintaining the Institute as an international centre of nautical excellence.

- To represent the professional views of the Institute's members to and within the international, national and local bodies considering the safety and efficiency of shipping operations.

- To promote and co-ordinate in the public interest the development of nautical studies in all the Institute's branches by :

  • Encouraging and promoting a high standard of qualification, competence and knowledge among those in control of seagoing craft including non-displacement craft.
  • Facilitating the exchange and publication of information and ideas on nautical science, encourage research and publish its results.
  • Establishing and maintaining appropriate educational and professional standards of membership.
  • Co-operating with Government Departments and other bodies concerned with statutory and other qualifications, and with universities and other educational institutes and authorities in the furtherance of education and training in nautical science and practice.
  • Encouraging the formation of branches and professional groups in different areas worldwide.
Our structure

Executive Board

Composed of 8 to 15 Trustees elected by Council, the Executive Board meets 3 or 4 times per year and is the ultimate decision making body for the Institute. It is tasked to develop and implement the Strategic Plan, manage the affairs of the Institute on behalf of the members, and appoint and oversee the performance of the Chief Executive.

It may delegate powers to committees but remains responsible for policy decisions, monitoring progress against plans, issuing an annual report and audited annual accounts. The Trustees must also discharge their statutory and legal responsibilities as Company Directors. Any submissions under the Institute’s Disciplinary Guidelines will be handled by the Board. A sub-committee of Trustees specialises in Financial and Audit matters. The Nautical Institute maintains standards through its committees which mostly report to the Executive Board.


The principal responsibility of Council is to elect the Trustees and ensure delivery of the Constitutional objectives of The Nautical Institute, assurance of performance and assessment of risk. Council also acts as an advisory body to the Executive Board and the specialist committees due to its larger, international composition (35 to 56 members) drawn from many sectors of the maritime industry.

At least 40% of elected Council members must be actively employed in a seagoing capacity. Important functions are strategic oversight and input to the management process and to consider/approve Strategic Plans prepared for the Executive Board by its committees. In so doing it will ensure exploitation of the full range of expert advice available in the international members. The Assurance and Nominations committees report to Council.

Younger Members' Council

The Younger Members' Council (YMC) was formed in 2019 and comprises members aged 18-35.

The Council was set up to facilitate engagement and representation of early career professionals from across the international maritime domain - from cadets and junior officers, to young Masters and educators - as well as to help develop how The NI makes its mark in the mentoring and support of those beginning their careers at sea.

The current membership was updated for 2023, and meets often to progress this crucial agenda.

Meet the team below:

Thilanka Sirimanna AFNI
Thilanka Sirimanna AFNI


Thilanka is a Master Mariner from Colombo.

With sailing experience on board oil, chemical and LPG tankers, he is also a lecturer in STCW and other maritime courses in Sri Lanka.  He holds an MBA in Maritime Management from Solent University (UK), and is a chartered member of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

He is a respected member of the executive committee of The NI’s Sri Lanka Branch, and has used his influence effectively to initiate the Branch’s Youth Forum for the benefit of young maritime professionals in Sri Lanka – as well as a range of other local youth outreach projects.

James Edwards MNI
James Edwards MNI

Vice Chair

James is a Master Mariner from the United Kingdom.

After a varied sea-going career over the past 10 years with experience sailing on cruise ships, ferries, container and general cargo ships he has since moved ashore and is working as a specialist officer in a crisis response department for a major cruise line.

He graduated from the University of Plymouth with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in Navigation & Maritime Science.  His academic efforts were duly acknowledged with the University nominating him for MCA Officer Trainee of the Year.

He also sits on the London Branch committee and is an active member of other maritime communities within the UK.

Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis MNI
Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis MNI


Yrhen Bernard is a young seafarer from the Philippines.

He has sailed on board bulk carriers and general cargo vessels since 2018 as a deck cadet and ordinary seafarer, before recently completing his Baccalaureate Degree (BSc) in Marine Transportation in 2020.

Yrhen Bernard also gives his time as an IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador, an Industry Ambassador for Maritime UK, an Advisor with Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), and as a member of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN)’s Younger Members’ Group.

Despite his youth, he is an extremely engaged and vocal maritime professional hoping to inspire early career seafarers to become more actively involved in how they see and shape their maritime futures.

Captain Stefan Kruellmann MNI
Captain Stefan Kruellmann MNI

Stefan is a Master Mariner from Hamburg.

With an MSc in International Maritime Management from Jade University (DE), he is a dedicated cruise enthusiast with a wealth of experience both as a Nautical Officer on board cruise ships and ashore as the management's right-hand for a prominent ship manager.

Since 2023, he has assumed the position of Business Development Manager for Cruise & Yacht at MariApps, a renowned software provider within the Schulte Group.

Outside his professional commitments, Stefan also actively participates in the Shipowners & Brokers Club Hamburg and the Nautical Club Hamburg.  He has also held respected positions on the committee of The NI's Germany Branch - first as Social Media Officer since its relaunch in 2022 and, as of this year, Honorary Secretary.

Cameron Livingstone MNI
Cameron Livingstone MNI

Cameron is a Marine Insurance Lawyer from Brisbane.

After begining his seafaring career on board commercial fishing vessels, Cameron joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Maritime Warfare Officer.  Following his naval service, he later embarked on a merchant career as a Navigation Officer on board LNG tankers in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Cameron holds Bachelors degrees in Nautical Science and Law, and is currently working as a P&I claims executive with Gard in Arendal, Norway.

He is also the Hon Secretary of the expanding South East Australia Branch of The Nautical Institute.

Lt Emily Bull MNI
Lt Emily Bull MNI

Emily is a Chief Mate from Pennsylvania.

Graduating from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 2016 with a BSc in Intermodal Transportation and Logistics, she currently holds a Chief Mate Unlimited Tonnage License (with International STCW Endorsement), as well as a 3000 Ton Masters National License.

She is currently serving as Chief Officer on board the MV Africa Mercy, engaged in an 11-month field service deployment to Dakar, Senegal on assignment to improve female healthcare provision in the region.  Prior to joining Mercy Ships, Emily worked exclusively on Military Sealift Command contracted vessels as a member of the American Maritime Officers Union (AMO).

Her humanitarian and military logistics experience gives Emily a unique maritime perspective for the YMC.

Sharad Kishore MNI
Sharad Kishore MNI

Sharad is a Chief Mate from Mumbai.

Currently serving on oil and chemical tankers, he is able to combine a strong technical knowledge of ship operations and management with an educational background in IT engineering – giving him a unique approach to the many and varied challenges of a life at sea.

A strong advocate for reformative change at all levels of the maritime industry, he continues to develop himself academically by pursuing his PGDM (Shipping & Logistics) and ICS PQE - and has recently gained his Master (Foreign-Going) CoC.

Sharad is also a certified ISO 9001:2015 Auditor, certified advanced scuba diver and fitness guru, perpetuating a healthy and calm on board environment for his crewmates however best he can.

Clive Austin RNR MNI
Clive Austin RNR MNI

Clive is a Third Officer from the UK.

Following his cadetship at Warsash Maritime Academy (UK), he has gained experience on board a wide range of vessel types on global voyages, and currently sails on tankers with Seapeak LNG with a view to shortly gaining his Chief Mates Unlimited CoC.  He is also reading for an MSc in Shipping Operations at Solent University (UK), hoping then to specialise further in Maritime Law.

Alongside his merchant navy career, Clive is also commissioned as a Midshipman in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) based at HMS Forward.

Sabeena Poonwassie MNI
Sabeena Poonwassie MNI

Sabeena is an Officer of the Watch and Junior Dynamic Positioning Operator (JDPO) from Trinidad & Tobago.

She graduated from The University of Trinidad & Tobago Centre for Maritime and Ocean Studies with an HND in Maritime Operations (Marine Navigation), and holds a UK MCA Officer of the Watch (II/1) Unlimited licence.

Sabeena began her career at sea as a deck cadet, training on board offshore/platform supply vessels in the oilfield sector – which has since led her to pursue her DPO certification, also with The NI.

She intends to build her experience as an OOW to be able to upgrade to Chief Mate (and then on to Master) in the near future, as well as to take on more supporting shore-based roles in maritime education and training.

Charles Malone MNI
Charles Malone MNI

Charles is a Third Mate from South Carolina.

Graduating from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2020 with a BSc (cum laude) in Marine Transportation, he since obtained his Unlimited Third Mate License and Tankerman-PIC for dangerous liquid cargoes for service on board the US-flagged oil tankers on which he sails.

Whenever ashore, Charles works to advance his own further education, and is currently reading for his Master of Legal Studies in Energy and Natural Resources Law degree at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Nitzeira Watson MNI
Nitzeira Watson MNI

Nitzeira is a Maritime Signalling Technician from Panama.

Winning the IAPH Biennial Training Scholarship 2017-2019, and with a Masters in Maritime Law and Shipping Business from the Polytechnic University of Catalunya, she has over 15 years' experience in the maritime industry.

Nitzeria also serves as the Chair of YoungShip Panama, and as the Founder and Honorary Secretary of The NI's nascent Panama Branch.

Brian Sinnott MNI
Brian Sinnott MNI

Brian is a Second Officer from Ireland.

Currently serving on board the Aids to Navigation Service vessel ILV Granuaile (operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights), Brian has had a wide-ranging and extensive career to date and has built on early experience on board cruise ships, ferries, superyachts, tugs, workboats, and unmanned survey vessels.

While ashore, he has been a volunteer crewmember with the Wicklow RNLI for the last 15 years, fulfilling duties on both all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

He remains an active committee member with the Ireland Branch of The Nautical Institute, and also holds the distinction of being an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and National Secretary of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners.

Felix Boye MNI
Felix Boye MNI

Felix is a Navigation Officer from Nigeria.

Holding a Second Mate Unlimited CoC from Egypt, Felix has a keen interest in maritime education and training development for colleges and maritime administrations across West Africa.

He is a strong advocate for safer seas, better on board conditions for younger seafarers, and the securing of good and reliable cadetship training opportunities for all.


Assurance Committee

A sub-committee of Council members to assess the performance of the Executive Board and committees against agreed Key Performance Indicators and make remedial recommendations to Council where necessary. To assess risk within the governance structure and provide consequent advice to the Executive Board.

Nominations Committee

Composed of 12 members and reporting to Council, it is tasked to assess candidates for nomination as prospective members: of the Council and its committees; of the Executive Board; and as Chairmen, and where appropriate Vice-Chairmen, of the committees.

This will entail effective succession planning and recommendations to Council. Standards and candidates for Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship are also assessed by this committee so as to make recommendations to Council and the Executive Board. It is also responsible for developing further criteria and procedures, if necessary, for election to and dismissal from the Executive Board.

Technical Committee

To consider and make recommendations to the Executive Board concerning all matters of a technical professional nature and their training requirements (correlated with the Professional Development Committee); to oversee, through a Publishing Advisory Group, the publishing activities of the Institute, ensuring that appropriate media are used and standards are maintained. The committee will normally meet twice per year.

Professional Development Committee

To keep under review and advise the Executive Board on proposals and topics related to education, qualifications and professional development for the maritime profession, including accreditation standards. The Committee will particularly ensure recommendations are correlated with seagoing requirements and experience, and that effective professional techniques are proposed to meet new developments internationally. The committee will normally meet twice per year.

IMO Committee

This committee will normally meet once per year to formulate, on behalf of the Executive Board, the policy of the Institute on matters to be debated and worked on at the IMO. The committee also oversees the work of the Institute delegation to the IMO and liaises closely with the Chief Executive and Head of Delegation to ensure the Institute makes an effective contribution to the work of the IMO on the basis of evidence gathering from the membership.

A key responsibility of the committee is to select the subject matter that is most important for the Institute to contribute to the IMO. The committee provides a summary report of the Institute’s activities at the IMO to Council and the Executive Board on an annual basis, and it is considered that substantial electronic communication between the members of the committee is necessary throughout the year. Members of this committee are directly elected by Council for 3 years and may be re-elected for further 3 year periods.


The Institute employs a fairly small permanent staff on a full time or part time basis. At least one third are professional mariners who have held senior positions at sea and / or within the maritime industry previously and they are encouraged to maintain current knowledge through coastal voyages annually. Performance standards for staff are laid down in the Institute Staff Handbook. The Institute runs an appraisal scheme related to tasks and performance reviews which in turn are linked to the provisions of the five year Strategic Plan.
Our branches

The Nautical Institute’s Branches are grouped into regions of the world, and act as its semi-independent global ambassadors.

The principal aim of the Branches is to promote the activities and increase the membership of The Nautical Institute in their area.

The Branches are vibrant, pro-active and outwardly engaging organisations run by members for members, and provide:

  • A local/regional maritime focus
  • Communication and networking opportunities with other like-minded professionals
  • Solutions to contemporary industry issues through seminars and workshops
  • A programme of technical and social events
  • Representation on regulatory bodies and industry user groups
  • Assistance with skills training and CPD
  • Involvement in local, regional and international NI projects
  • Support in developing management and organisational skills.

You can see a full list of our branches here

Our people
Captain Trevor Bailey MNM FNI
Captain Trevor Bailey MNM FNI


Trevor’s wide-ranging maritime career has spanned more than 50 years and he continues to serve as Master with Windstar Cruises.   

After serving his Deck cadetship with BP Tanker Company, Trevor moved on to work on ro-ro container ships, trading world-wide, before moving in to the short-sea ferry trade around the UK.  During his time with Stena Line, he was promoted to Senior Master of a conventional ship at Holyhead and thereafter, he spearheaded Stena’s adventures into high-speed craft, initiating the original service from Holyhead and, subsequently, becoming the training Master the Stena HSS. 

With changing opportunities in the ferry sector, Trevor opted to step ashore and develop his own consultancy company, trading successfully for almost 20 years, concentrating on safety and safety training, particularly in the cruise sector and in relation to the Port Marine Safety Code.  He also spent some time working in the ship management sector, as Marine Superintendent and Safety specialist. 

He sat as one of the Nautical Assessors to the Formal Inquiry into the “Marchioness” disaster. 

Trevor returned to sea in the cruise sector and, since 2019, has worked for Windstar Cruises LLC, sailing as Master. 

Trevor has contributed to a number of publications for the Nautical Institute.   

He is also a Younger Brother of Trinity House, London. 

On Trafalgar Day 2015, Trevor was awarded the UK Merchant Navy Medal for services to safety on high-speed catamaran ferries and to The Nautical Institute. 

He lives with his wife in Anglesey, North Wales in sight of the sea and the mountains of Snowdonia where, amongst other things, they enjoy horse riding.   

Trevor was elected President of The Nautical Institute in June 2024. 

Mr Walter Vervloesem FNI
Mr Walter Vervloesem FNI

Senior Vice President

Walter founded the IMCS Training Academy in 2014, having been involved in the expansion of the IMCS Group to 19 branch offices worldwide and becoming its Chairman in 2000. He became a marine surveyor on leaving the sea in 1988 with the rank of chief officer on short-sea trade vessels. He pioneered the use of ultrasound for testing the weathertight intergrity of hatch covers and trains people in its use.
Mr Neil Dulling FNI
Mr Neil Dulling FNI

Vice President

Neil Dulling started his maritime career as a Deck Officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary where professional development and training were installed as the foundation and the key to safe operations at sea.  On moving ashore, he has worked for both 3rd party and in-house ship management in tanker and LNG divisions, heading up teams in training, Health and Safety, Environment and sustainability, Security, and Quality management.   

He joined the Institute Professional Development Committee in 2004, helping to develop the Continuous professional development framework, and then went on to chair the committee. His recent focus has been on Environment, sustainability, and new technology, and he represented the NI during the development of the 2023 IMO GHG strategy. 

Captain Mike Meade FNI
Captain Mike Meade FNI

Vice President

Experienced offshore Subsea and OSV Owner / Operator with a demonstrated history of working in the oil & gas industry. Skilled in Commercial / Transactional Management, Dynamic Positioning, International Shipping, Safety Management Systems and Business Development. A strong business development professional with a Master Mariners Certificate and a Fellow of the Nautical Institute.
Captain Nish Wijayakulathilaka FNI
Captain Nish Wijayakulathilaka FNI

Vice President

Nish is a law graduate (LLB Hons) Second Class Honors from the New Buckinghamshire University, United Kingdom and a postgraduate (MBA) from the University of Colombo. He has started his higher education from the University of Moratuwa and further Maritime higher education was completed at the CINEC Maritime Campus. He also a Member of the  Company of the Master Mariners of Sri Lanka and the Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistic and Transport( CMILT). He also a Goodwill Maritime Ambassador appointed by the IMO.

He is a Fellow and was a council member of The Nautical Institute, and former Secretary of the Sri Lanka Branch from 2014 to 2020.

Captain Peter Martin FNI
Captain Peter Martin FNI

Vice President

Peter has had command and extensive experience piloting ships in most ports of Australia and many overseas ports, including those in the Red Sea. He offers extensive maritime operations experience comprising a mix of operational and strategic expertise gained through; merchant maritime service, 23 years’ service in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), marine services management, generalist port pilot, Great Barrier Reef (Check) Pilot, and Master of cruise ships. Highlights of his career included military and commercial command and undertaking a sabbatical in Malaysia, where he studied regional politics and International Relations to earn his Master’s Degree in Defence Studies - International Relations (UNSW).

Peter is an internationally renowned lecturer-at-sea, delivering highly reported lecture packages to cruise ship passengers. His recreational sailing interests include the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race (and training), the Sydney to Hobart yacht race as a participant, and Director at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania where he sails regularly and currently manages volunteers manning the Hobart Race Liaison Centre for the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Peter is presently at UTAS / AMC conducting PhD research investigating the perception of ‘sea blindness’ in Australia’s strategic maritime LNG trade dynamic. He is an AIN VP, VP of the Nautical Institute, and a member of the Company of Master Mariners.

Captain Steve Pelecanos FNI
Captain Steve Pelecanos FNI

Vice President

Captain Pelecanos holds executive positions in a number of organisations with a stake in a diverse range of maritime-related businesses.

He has a special interest in Safety Management, Human Factors, and Pilot Training and has been the author of over 50 papers on these subjects.

Dr Kaushik Roy CMMar CMarTech FNI
Dr Kaushik Roy CMMar CMarTech FNI

Vice President

Kaushik is one of the Founding Members of the Nautical Institute (NI) ‘Armillary Club’ and 1 of the first 3 Assessors of NI for the Chartered Master Mariner (CMMar) and continuing. He is the first Asian origin Chartered Master Mariner and first in SE/ FE Asia & China. He brought the World’s first ‘Green Award’ to the LNG ship and the Operator. He is an expert in LNG safety, operations, joint venture, start-ups and change management.

Kaushik is the ‘Council Member’ of IMarEST & HKIMT; and Technical Committee member of ABS, BV and LR. He is the IMarEST PRI Assessor for Chartered Marine Technologists and Chartered Marine Engineers. He is the Fellow of 4 esteemed institutions. Kaushik has done his Master in International Trade Laws (LLM) from UK, after gaining professional competency from the UK. He is Harvard qualified Negotiator and Expert Witness. Kaushik was involved in the first LNG commercial STS operations of Japan, Indonesia, and Argentina. He was involved in 3 LNG terminal commissioning activities. He was Consultant to SIGTTO and KVH Videotel production which achieved ‘Insight Award’.

Kaushik speaks, chairs at various events globally. He loves meeting people and to discover potentials
Captain Graham Cowling ExC FNI
Captain Graham Cowling ExC FNI

Chair, Executive Board

Graham Cowling has been a member of The Nautical Institute since 1986. He is currently the Chair of the EB having previously served as Chair of the F&A Committee and Vice-Chair of the Executive Board. 

He went to Sea in 1978 and sailed on general cargo ships and tankers before obtaining an Extra Master certificate of competency and moving ashore. He has held senior roles in the ship management departments of Owner and Managers in London, Cyprus and Hong Kong with responsibilities in technical management, commercial operations, insurance, crewing and sale and purchase.  

He is a Fellow of The Nautical Institute and of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and he is a teaching professor at the Cyprus Business School. He is also tutor and lecturer for the Institute of Chartered Shipping 'Understanding Shipping 'course for the Cyprus Branch. 

Captain Duncan Telfer FNI
Captain Duncan Telfer FNI

Honorary Treasurer, Executive Board

Duncan completed a 40-year career with the Swire Group in 2019, having first commenced a seagoing career with the Bank Line.

He has been shore based for over 30 years in various senior management positions around the World including Japan, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. Businesses managed include stevedoring, coastal shipping, ocean fleet, crew management and offshore oil & gas.

He has been involved with a number of industry related organisations including the working group for Maritime Labour Standards at the ILO, representative at APEC Ministerial, various sub committees of the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association and Singapore Shipping Association. Also appointed to the High Court in Hong Kong as Nautical Assessor.

Duncan joined the Nautical Institute in the 1970’s and has been an active member throughout. Past positions include membership of the Fellowship Committee, Chairman of the Singapore and Hong Kong branches, Trustee and member of the Executive Board.

Most recently he has been reappointed to the Executive Board as Honorary Treasurer where he also sits on the Finance & Audit Committee. Duncan has now been appointed to the Chair of the newly established Nautical Institute Foundation.

Captain John Lloyd RD MNM MBA CMMar FNI
Captain John Lloyd RD MNM MBA CMMar FNI

Chief Executive Officer

John joined The Nautical Institute from the Australian Maritime College (AMC) in Tasmania where he was a Professor in the National Centre for Ports and Shipping. During his seven years at AMC he had a two years leave of absence to set up the Angolan Maritime Training Centre. Before joining AMC he spent two years working in the Vanuatu Maritime College.

John’s varied career prior to these appointments included four years in senior positions with Flagship Training in the UK, 10 years with Warsash Maritime Centre as a senior and principal lecturer in simulation and operations, and two years as a marine pilot in Walvis Bay. He served at sea from 1975 for 16 years, gaining command in 1987.

Mr David J Patraiko FNI
Mr David J Patraiko FNI

Director of Projects | Head of Research & Relationships

David Patraiko is the Director of Projects for The Nautical Institute, and coordinates its Technical and Professional Development Committees. He is responsible for developing and managing major Institute projects and he represents the professional interests of members in general shipping, training and technical forums.

Much of this work is aimed at assisting members of the Institute with continuous professional development. He has led research and produced many papers and articles on training, electronic navigation, the associated ‘Human Element’ effects created by technology, and Marine Spatial Planning. He is currently involved with the international debate on e-Navigation and is Chairman of the IALA e-navigation working group for Strategy and Operations, Chaired the Industry ECDIS Training Group, and is Chairman of the Green Awards Board of Experts.

After a brief period as an independent consultant and surveyor, in 1997 he accepted the position of Project Manager for The Nautical Institute, and became Director of Projects in 2003. A graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (US), he sailed on a variety of international vessels in his twelve years in the Merchant Navy (1985 – 1997). He holds an Unlimited Master Mariners licence, and was awarded an MBA degree from Henley Management College (UK).


Diversity & Inclusion Pledge

The Nautical Institute, as the global body for maritime professionals, pledges its commitment to encourage, support and celebrate a diverse and inclusive maritime industry, including gender, race, ethnicity and age. Furthermore, The Nautical Institute pledges to embrace equal opportunities and visibility in all activities of the Institute.