Seaways January 2024

18 Dec 2023 Institute News

Warmest greetings to all of our readers across the world. Let me start by saying a huge thank you to all of our members and other seafarers who have been busy serving during the Christmas and New Year period.

Captain John Lloyd FNI Chief Executive

A voice for the future

For many it will have been impossible to schedule leave and to celebrate these and other special occasions with family and friends. Thank you for your service – it is recognised and appreciated every day of the year. You are key workers in every sense – and continue to do your jobs no matter what the challenges. In that respect, we deplore the recent attacks on merchant shipping endangering the vessels and the innocent crews on board. We wish all mariners in these hazardous regions safe passage.

The beginning of the year is a great time to be considering new plans and new opportunities, as well as offering an opportunity for reflection on the year just passed. As The Nautical Institute looks forward, I am sure we will have another exciting, influential and productive year. Key events in our calendar will include our Annual General Meeting in June, which this year will be hosted in Manila, Philippines. What a fabulous location, and a superb opportunity to promote the work of The Nautical Institute at the heart of one the largest seafarer communities in the world. Later on in the year we will be hosting our Annual Dynamic Positioning and Offshore Energy event, which will be held in Asia for the first time. This will most likely be in Indonesia in the third quarter of the year.

We also plan to be very active in the ‘human factors’ discussions to be held at a conference in London, currently in the planning stage. We will join with industry leaders and universities as we spotlight key issues surrounding well-being, professional development and crew competencies. I do hope you will join us when and where you can.

The excellent reception given to our events in 2023 speaks well for the prospects for this event. We were delighted at the support from across the industry. In particular, the showcase event we hosted with Trinity House and the UK’s Merchant Navy Training Board allowed us to consider a wide range of issues linked to professional and career development and progression. Our amazing speakers offered great insights into their own priorities in developing a maritime career and how they shaped and developed the necessary experience to achieve their success.

Our membership grew steadily throughout the year thanks in part to the great support from colleges and training providers in encouraging student participation. The AGM in Manila offers a great chance to follow up on this and learn how our new student members are benefiting from complimentary NI membership, and how we can support them further. That growth is also due to the fantastic representative work of our branches in promoting professionalism and focusing on matters especially relevant to their own local maritime community.

During 2024 I look forward to our membership numbers reaching 10,000 for the first time. This will be an amazing milestone for our organisation and one that you should be proud of as members of the leading professional association of its kind. Thank you.

IMO matters

With a new Secretary-General at the IMO and major revisions of STCW underway, there has never been a more important time for us to present our voice and thinking in this important forum. We welcome Secretary-General Mr Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco and wish him well with his tenure, and send our thanks and best wishes to the departing Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

We will be very actively involved with discussions on the next evolution of STCW as we seek to develop a qualifications framework that meets the needs of today and the expectations of tomorrow, with the agility to respond to a complex, dynamic and diverse operating environment. We know this will be a challenge, but the NI and many like us will make every effort to ensure seafarer safety and seafarer competence are first and foremost in the consideration of the regulators. We have a unique opportunity to influence positive change and relish the opportunity to do so.

This is only one area of our work and I am sure we will have the opportunity of explaining more in Seaways articles throughout the year. Please contribute where you can and make sure that your professional voice is amongst those shaping best practice.

Support from across the industry for our events and discussions last year highlights the importance of the voice of professional experience in determining the future of the maritime sector