Seaways Focus - April 2024

27 Mar 2024 Seaways

Seaways Focus - April 2024, written by Captain John Lloyd FNI, Chief Executive

Keep the ship running

April is a really important time of the year for The Nautical Institute as we work with our committees in the support of our governance arrangements. For any professional body, these functions are essential in providing member input and independent oversight of our activities, and I would like to say a huge thank you to those who have volunteered to contribute to our activities through Council and through the Executive Board. During April, our Nominations Committee meets to consider the experience of these volunteers and to assess where a particular type of experience would add value to our governance at this point in time. I realise offering to help in this way comes with a significant level of commitment – so thank you to all who offered their services.

Fatigue prevention

Prior to this I will be attending a workshop at the World Maritime University (WMU) considering the impact of fatigue on mariners and how we can best mitigate the often high levels of work required of those at sea. Of course, having the right data is central to being able to identify issues and improve matters such as hours of work and rest. And in order to get this data, our documentation must be completed fully and accurately. I look forward to learning of the WMU’s research in this area and hope that our mariners have been allowed to record their hours in a way that fully assesses their work and rest hours. 

We have been very pleased to help the WMU in their research in this area and look forward to seeing the results. At the same time, I wonder how technology can be used to help us improve data collection and analysis? Many of us use personal fitness devices that track activity and rest periods that could perhaps be used to provide a more complete picture of seafarer rest periods and also the quality of that rest.

STCW update

The IMO’s STCW code is central to helping develop a harmonised standard for seafarer training. Making sure that this is up to date, and as far as possible futureproofed during a time of social, economic and technical change is especially challenging. We have a great group of experts considering the changes to the next version of STCW, and I am confident with our extensive experience and superb professional experience we will have an important contribution to make to the discussions at IMO and more widely.

"With our extensive knowledge and superb professional experience we will have an important contribution to make to the STCW discussions at IMO and more widely."

NI around the world

STCW changes will of course affect all of our members and I am excited we will be able to listen to the thoughts, concerns and aspirations of our next generation of maritime leaders in Manila later this year. Our Annual General Meeting is announced in this edition of Seaways and promises to provide a real insight into the needs of the young mariner both professionally and personally. I am really grateful for the work of our members in the Philippines in helping us develop a fantastic programme for June and look forward to seeing many of you there in person on 27 and 28 June.

Before then I look forward to visiting our Branches in British Colombia, Western Australia and Queensland and especially to supporting an NI, WISTA and Australian Maritime Safety Authority event promoting Women in Maritime being held in Fremantle on 16 May. This is such an important discussion that will bring together some key stakeholders in our sector and help us deliver a positive message of support and development.


I would like to say a huge thank you for the positive feedback on the latest edition of The Navigator in which we looked more closely at Dynamic Positioning. Not only is this a highly important area of maritime operations that is useful for us all to understand a little bit better, but is also an area in which our world-leading qualification has been undergoing quite some change. Specifically the requirement for evidence of Continuing Professional Development as part of the revalidation process will help ensure this qualification continues to be regarded as ‘the industry qualification’.

Finally, I am very pleased that we have been able to invest in our Information and Publications area with a number of recent appointments that increase our capacity to develop our technical output. Of course, we are always keen to identify other experts who can help with our publications, as authors, peer reviewers and more, and we would be really pleased to hear from you with ideas for the books and other information our members would value most. Be it for books, Seaways, The Navigator, or our increasing range of courses and webinars, it is the expertise of Nautical Institute members that makes our publications as strong as they are.