Seaways - June 2023

31 May 2023 Institute News

Our Annual General Meeting and technical conference in Hamburg at the end of this month is already drawing in members and guests from across our membership and around the world.

Captain John Lloyd FNI Chief Executive

A multi-faceted membership

As well as distinguished and expert speakers from Germany, we have committed attendees from Japan, United States of America, Malta, UK, the Netherlands and many other countries. We look forward to seeing you there. As well as the formality of the Annual General Meeting we have an engaging programme, and a fitting location on board historic cargo ship MS Bleichen, in the heart of one of Europe’s busiest ports. Our conference ‘Developing Maritime Professionals’ will explore how mariners can be best equipped to face the challenges and opportunities of the future. New technology, new ways of working, new ship and engine design and new ways of learning are all on the agenda. Places are open to members and non-members – register now at:

Pilot safety

We were saddened to learn of another marine pilot losing their life while boarding a ship in Asia. Such incidents remind us of the great responsibility we have to ensure safe access to our vessels for all who come on board. Perhaps the most hazardous of these boardings are for pilots and so we must give special attention to these arrangements.

As well as the proper rigging of pilot boarding arrangements and the careful supervision of the transfer of the pilot, Ship Masters and their crews have a responsibility to ensure all of the equipment is properly tested and verified as safe for use. Too often we see photographs of poorly-rigged, non-compliant ladders that endanger the safety of the Pilot.

This is unprofessional and unacceptable. Pilots are dependent upon others for their safety and we must not let them down. The casualties reported this year show we still have improvements to make. None of us expect to have casualties on board, but only with great professionalism and diligence can we ensure the safety of those in our care.

Professionalism and development

On the subject of professionalism, our membership is the leading source of maritime expertise on the planet. Thank you. And thank you to all the members who contribute actively to our work through so many lines of activities. These include membership of our Council, the Executive Board, Committees and of course the global presence provided by our branch network. Without your efforts we would not be the respected professional maritime organisation we have become. The Annual Report towards the end of this issue of Seaways shows the range and depth of our involvement in the maritime industry around the world, in ways which continue to evolve as the industry changes.

Membership grades reflect the qualifications and experience of our maritime community both at sea and on shore. I do encourage all those of you who are MNI members of The Nautical Institute and who have substantial Command or equivalent experience to consider upgrading your membership level to Associate Fellow. It is an appropriate recognition of your professional experience.

Our highest level of membership is, of course, Fellowship of The Nautical Institute and I look forward to announcing those members awarded Fellowship at our Annual General Meeting in Hamburg. If you have made a genuine contribution to the betterment of the maritime sector, do consider a nomination for Fellowship.

Turning shipping green

In today’s social and economic environment, we are never far away from important discussions around climate change and decarbonisation. I am very pleased that the next edition of The Navigator is dedicated to this important area.

With key issues such as the carbon footprint of ships and the through-life impact of shipping on the environment this edition provides key updates and insights into this subject area. Please take a close look and consider how you too can make a difference.

Recent issues of The Navigator have covered many of the issues I discuss above, including the future of shipping, pilot ladder safety – and the importance of pilotage generally – and the importance of professionalism and professional development, in a format which is available and accessible to everyone across the shipping industry. It is timely for me to remind our global readership that The Navigator is only made possible through the hugely generous support of our sponsors and in particular the International Federation for Aids to Navigation (IFAN). As principal sponsors and supporters IFAN have made a massive contribution to maritime safety through the issues raised in The Navigator and we thank the Board and Trustees for their continued support.

Thank you to all our members who contribute actively to our work through so many lines of activities