Cooperation amongst seafaring communities

22 Ноя

В настоящей публикации раскрываются различные формы и аспекты сотрудничества морской общественности, в частности, морской отрасли и государств в борьбе с пиратством, в организации поиска и спасания на море. Особое внимание уделяется сотрудничеству в рамках Международной морской организации (IMO) и Морского института (NI). Особенно выделяются работы в сфере электронной навигации и над международными морскими конвенциями.

In a speech given at the Joint Seminar in Mumbai, Nautical Insitute CEO Philip Wake looks at how mutual understanding and cooperation between merchant shipping entities and the various forms of government agencies benefit shipping at all levels.

It has to be admitted that ship owners and managers generally prefer to have as little engagement with government as possible so as to have complete freedom to trade and seek competitive advantage. Rampant piracy changes that perspective although initially the stance in the commercial world will always he protection without trading restrictions. Our naval colleagues know that such a modus operandi is inefficient and ultimately ineffective, especially in an era of increasingly scarce resources with multiple demands on them. It therefore takes time to educate the commercial sector about the procedures that will help to protect their ships and crews — reporting, Best Management Practices (BMP4), and high risk areas amongst other aspects. The role of UKMTO in Dubai in this process has been ven important. Manned by naval reservists, and many of the officers with merchant shipping experience, it has kept a vital shipping plot up-to-date and provided timely advice to ships in the Indian Ocean trading area so as to combat the Somali piracy threat. This service has been provided to the ships of all nations with the primary, aim of protecting seafarers. It has been really effective because of that combination of commercial shipping and naval knowledge found in specifically trained naval reservists. Similarly specialised training is required for armed teams being placed upon merchant ships for their protection. Many of these teams comprise former marines used to serving aboard ships but service in naval ships is different so they need to be trained for life in a merchant ship and the regulations that apply.

We have known from the beginning of the Somali situation, and indeed history tells us. that the long term eradication of piracy lies in solutions ashore rather than suppression measures al via. The IMO is deeply engaged with the UN and the Contact Croup on Piracy has brought together member slates and commercial interests to help rebuild Somalia’s governance and economy. Recently, major shipping companies, including Shell, BP, Stena, and Maersk, have come together to invest directly in projects there to provide alternative employment and so reduce the willingness of young Somalis to risk their lives in piracy.

Search and rescue

Probably the longest standing example of seafaring cooperation is Search and Rescue (SAR). How it is organised in different countries varies, but in every country it is ultimately a statutory duty of the State to ensure that there is an effective SAR organisation. The Malaysian airliner loss in March is a fine but sad example of nations and SAR assets coming together to pool their resources without regard to nationality and we wish them success in their continuing search operations. In the UK, this SAR responsibility lies with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which can call upon a variety of resources to earn out the SAR missions. There are Coastguard assets of course, naval units can be asked to assist, until recently the RAF had a SAR squadron — now contracted out to a civilian provider, merchant ships and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) uniquely provides coverage around the entire coastal areas of the British Isles, including Ireland. The RNLI is probably the finest example of cooperation between seafaring communities as their boats are entirely manned by volunteers (only 10% of which start with a maritime background), they are backed up by thousands of fundraisers, a Council and committees — also volunteers, and there is a core team of professional staff running the organisation. It works because of the close working relationship between the SAR units and the excellent coordination provided by the MCA’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). We should not underestimate the time and care required to establish such an effective SAR organisation — the RNLI is over 175 years old and has been working with the government agencies throughout that lime. A similar voluntary organisation in Bulgaria which has members of The Nautical Institute leading it has found it somewhat difficult to gain acceptance from the authorities. National law had to be changed to allow civilian involvement and mindsets also blocked cooperation so persistence and non-confrontational tactics were required. I hope to see much progress on my next visit there.


The work of this UN Agency is paramount in the world of shipping. It is certainly the largest body of international cooperation between seafaring nations and industry bodies. At one end of the scale arc the major maritime Conventions such as SOLAS and MARPOL. that have done so much to improve safety over many decades, whilst al an individual practical level agreements on new or amended Traffic-Separation Schemes are an important part of the IMO’s work. An early example of the Institute’s assistance in the IMO’s traffic separation scheme (TSS) work, long before we were elected as an NGO, involved the Gibraltar Straits TSS. Consultation between the Spanish and British/Gibraltarian professionals was essential to place the TSS correctly- but political tensions over the Rock meant they couldn’t meet. The Institute formed the Southern Iberian Branch encompassing southern Spain and Gibraltar, set up a conference on navigation and the professionals from both sides were allowed to attend. In the margins, they met and thrashed out the details of the TSS!

More recently, the concept of eNavigation — the harmonisation of ship and shore based navigation systems — has been a major focus. Mandatory carriage of ECDIS is a slipping stone towards eNavigation bill should not be confused with it as the ‘e’ stands for ‘enhanced’ rather than ‘electronic’. Whether such a system will come into being and how extensively remains subject to debate because even agreeing the content and structure of the concept has been a lengthv process over the past five years. The Nautical Institute has been deeplv involved throughout to provide the end users’ input to this process, and chaired the eNavigation Operations Working Group at the International Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse authority (IALA) which then provided input to the IMO. Arriving at agreed input with so many nationalities and interests involved has not been easy and at times the discussions have been on the political rather than practical level. This is a pity but I suppose inevitable where major systems investment and International agreements lor sharing information are necessary. Left to themselves, knowledgeable seafarers would probably have managed to develop a simple and usable system in half the time that could gradually be established throughout the world.

Working with regulation

There are often debates about the need for prescriptive international or national regulation rather than industry self-regulation. On the one hand, the industry is so diverse and fragmented that getting all entities to abide by the rules is notoriously difficult. There will always be those who are willing to cut corners for competitive and financial advantage. On the other hand, there are schemes of industry self-regulation that are successful. One such example is the Dynamic Positioning Operator Training Scheme managed by the Institute on behalf of the offshore industry. Started in 1982 through an industry conference organised by the Institute’s North of Scotland Branch due to concerns for the safety of divers operating from ships in the North Sea, the standards of training and certification were developed with industry stakeholders and still are through regular meetings and consultative processes. The Institute accredits the training providers against these standards and verifies the individual’s training has been completed successfully before issuing the DРО Certificate. What gives the Scheme its power is that the Certificate is generally a charterer’s requirement so the officer’s livelihood depends upon obtaining it and keeping it valid. It is a prime example of cooperation between seafaring communities as all the 70+ training providers around the world arc involved in the consultative process and their views are input to the Executive Group (DPTEG) which comprises all the major international trade associations relevant to this sector of shipping. For about the last four years we have also been facilitating discussions between stakeholders on the need for an international standard on ice navigation training. This is due to the increasing amount of shipping operating in polar regions and the age profile of the few trained ice navigators in the world. This work has made progress in defining terms and developing a common framework for training so that it is likely to be input lo the IMO as part of the development of the Polar Code. However, the time-scale required for IMO instruments lo become effective means that it is likely to be initially utilised by the industry as self-regulation.

Cooperation within the NI

I have already shared with you some of the Institute’s work on major industry issues and it would be remiss of me not to hold the Institute up as a shining example of cooperation between seafaring communities. The membership is of course a very diverse maritime community as we have members in some 116 countries and they encompass virtually all sectors of the shipping industry in which I include the Navy and Coast Guard. What do they get from their membership? The short answer is knowledge of and contacts in other sectors of the maritime industry. which is of great value in some of their naval operations and may well lead to a useful second career when the time comes to retire from front line operations. ‘They also find, as do their merchant shipping colleagues, that main seafaring problems are common lo all three services and a problem shared is often a problem solved. Seamanship, navigation and engineering problems obviously fall into this commonality but so too do aspects of recruitment and retention in an increasingly competitive world with a vast choice of careers.

The Institute’s role therefore is to facilitate the bringing together of these diverse maritime communities and seek solutions lo whatever problems they face as well as promoting professional know ledge. We also identify aspects of the profession that need improvement, usually before others in the industry arc aware of them. In the first years of this century we built awareness of the need for leadership and management training which had never really been an element in merchant navy training something that may surprise our naval colleagues where it is such a strong focus. Our success can be seen in its inclusion in the 2010 Manila Amendments to STCW. Now we are pursuing the same process for ice navigation. Our branch network is integral to this process with the ice navigation project being lead by the British Columbia Branch and their ice experts, particularly Captain Duke Snider.

Navigational competence

Navigational competence in general is a major concern of our members as evidenced by its very high score in the sunev for the current Strategic Plan. Our response has been lo publish The Navigator periodical three times per year. Each issue is themed on a particular navigation topic so as to build a manual of knowledge but also to encourage further reading and learning. We have funded the first five issues with a 10.000 print run for circulation to our members and Ihe Royal Institute of Navigation’s. Now I am delighted to advise that IFAN, the International Foundation for Aids to Navigation, is providing a year’s funding for print runs of 100,000 with the aim of getting The Navigator onto even SOLAS class ship plus all nautical colleges and Missions. I sincerely hope it will also find its way onto many naval vessels. This is a very tangible example of cooperation between seafaring entities and follows on from the equally successful collaboration between the Institute and Lloyd’s Register Foundation which, in its various guises over the past 12 years, has funded the equally large distribution of the Human Element Project Alert! Bulletin. This project has done so much lo raise the awareness ot the human element in shipping and the importance of factoring it into the design of ships and their systems. Von may well ask why the hardnosed businessmen on the boards of these Foundations are willing to donate hundreds of thousands of pounds per year to these projects. I he answer is that they recognise that we have a highly knowledgeable membership ready and willing to pass on their expertise lo the next generation of seafarers and indeed those of the current generation in need of improving their knowledge and skills — which actually means all of us as we should always be seeking to learn more — but that the Institute cannot and should not have to fund such an industry-wide project itself. We are extremely grateful for this support and I hope that many of you will volunteer to help make this mass distribution of The Navigator effective.

There are many other aspects of the Institute’s work that I could share with you as examples of cooperation between members, branches, other professional bodies, trade associations, and government agencies. However, I will finish this presentation with a plea for you all to engage in mentoring — the passing on of experiential knowledge from one to another. We all have knowledge to share with those around us, be they junior or senior to our current position and there are simple ways to achieve it. The Captain has a wealth of experience to pass on but should appreciate it when the computer savvy 2nd Mate (or Lieutenant to Captain in naval terms) offers to guide him through the latest electronic gadget to arrive on board with little or no training included for the users.

Communication and cooperation are the keys to success.

Автор: Philip Wake, FNI, CEO, The Nautical Institute

Источник: Seaways. — 2014. — October. — P. 23 — 24.