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The Nautical Institute
September - October 2020 
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NI shines a spotlight on mentoring at sea 
The Nautical Institute has launched an online campaign promoting mentoring at sea, thanks to generous funding from the TK Foundation. 

Casting a spotlight on how mentoring improves life at sea while helping mariners grow professionally, the campaign features a series of short films released fortnightly. Each documents seafarers tackling the fundamental aspects of mentoring, and participants speak passionately about the positive impact of mentoring, particularly during challenging times.
Spearheading the campaign is NI Senior Vice-President Captain André LeGoubin FNI, a long-standing advocate of the power of mentoring and author of The Nautical Institute's book Mentoring at Sea - the 10 minute challenge. Captain LeGoubin says: "Experiences can be good or bad, but the knowledge that comes from those experiences can only ever be goodAt The Nautical Institute we have always believed in the power and necessity of mentoring at sea, and particularly during these difficult times where having good relationships onboard has never been so important. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to promote mentoring once again with the help of the TK Foundation."
The films were produced by Mónika Naranjo-Shepherd of LUMA, a storytelling design agency, and feature maritime professionals of all ages, nationalities and ranks. 

Commenting on the benefits of mentoring for wellbeing, Ms Naranjo-Shepherd said: "Mentoring makes ships happier because people feel appreciated, they feel they can speak up and they feel confident in their knowledge about their roles. I would go as far as saying that it has a humanitarian value, because seafarers spend so long away from home, working long hours."

You can watch the films on our YouTube channel here
Silver celebrations for the 25th issue of The Navigator 
The Nautical Institute is celebrating a special milestone for The Navigator, the free magazine aimed at maritime navigators around the world. The new issue is the 25th edition of the award-winning publication launched in 2012.

Articles include a look back at a few of the top tips shared in past editions, an interview with Senior Vice-President of The Nautical Institute and distributor of The Navigator, Captain André LeGoubin FNI, a collage of reader photographs and letters and a reminder of some of the technology articles written by Dr Andy Norris FNI on behalf of the Royal Institute of Navigation.

David Patraiko FNI, Director of Projects for The Nautical Institute, said: "The Navigator was originally conceived to ensure that every professional navigator recognised the importance of navigating. It has grown beyond its original brief, however, as it's not just navigators of all ranks who read it. We know that company directors and engineers have enjoyed it too."

"As we hit our 25th issue, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our volunteer distributors, without whom we couldn't afford such an enterprise, nor enjoy the impact we have done from getting so many copies onboard ships around the world."

You can read the full version of this special edition here
Nautical Institute Foundation launches
The NI has launched The Nautical Institute Foundation, a charitable initiative aiming to extend the scope and reach of NI activities and improve standards in maritime safety and marine environmental protection. 

"We identified the benefits that could arise from a separate charity focusing on maritime safety initiatives that would attract potential donors keen to support such projects but only via a separate charity," explained NIF Chief Executive Jonathan Stoneley FNI. "The NI Foundation is an excellent basis for developing and strengthening networking contacts with industry stakeholders, other foundations and specialist interest groups."

The NIF's vision is to be recognised by key industry stakeholders as a leading organisation in funding capacity-building solutions for the maritime community. These might include projects related to marine surveying and training in port safety or environmental awareness – areas where the NI has an interest but which are not the main focus of its own activities.

The Foundation will look at training and accreditation in the many maritime industries which are currently unregulated, focussing on areas with less developed safety cultures and standards.

The Foundation will plan its project delivery based on perceived need, by assessing safety and environmental statistics or by following up calls from industry bodies, NGOs or maritime communities. If a particular country suffers a series of incidents in a particular sector, for example, the Foundation may consider running local training. This would aim to address the issues that caused the accidents and provide workers with skills to avoid repeat incidents.

The first of these projects will look at bulk carrier safety, in particular at awareness surrounding cargo liquefaction. Proposed measures include a short, distance-learning course, which would be followed by a two-day workshop in relevant locations, leading to formal certificates valid for five years.

For more information please contact Jonathan Stoneley, Chief Executive of The Nautical Institute Foundation at
Double-ended disorientation 
A double-ended ferry with a central bridge ran between two ports, Red and Blue. When on passage to Blue port, the Blue end was considered the bow and the ferry was controlled from the console at the Blue end of the bridge. For the return journey to Red port, a manual switch on the console allowed the electronic chart system (ECS) to display the correct heading.

On the day in question fog progressively reduced visibility to about 200m. The ferry was en route to Blue port, and at the Blue console the Master had the con assisted by a helmsman. At the other end of the bridge an officer was at the Red console, using the radar and ECS. From there he relayed navigation and collision avoidance information to the Master.

As the vessel approached its destination it swung to port and the Master took over from the helmsman. Visibility deteriorated and the Master became disorientated. Believing himself still to be heading for the port, the Master put propulsion astern and went to the Red console, but without operating the heading switch. In fact, the vessel had turned through 220°, and shortly afterwards the vessel collided with a moored yacht and grounded on mud.

The accident investigators concluded that the Master was disorientated and overloaded with tasks as a result of inadequate bridge team management (BTM). Good BTM promotes teamwork and enables navigation decisions to be challenged if necessary.

More details about the incident and the lessons to be learned from it are contained in the report 202053 on our free online MARS database. Do share this report with colleagues and encourage them contribute their own reports to the database, as we need these vital maritime safety messages to reach more people.
Ocean Technologies Group becomes first Sapphire Affiliate 
In a move to support the commitment of The Nautical Institute's work to promote professionalism, best practice and safety throughout the maritime industry, Ocean Technologies Group has become the Institute's first Sapphire Affiliate member. 

Central to the partnership is supporting the Institute's Mariner's Alerting and Reporting Scheme (MARS), a searchable online database of maritime accidents and near misses covering 25 years, available free to the industry. 

This collaboration comes shortly after The Navigator magazine reached its 25th edition, and as the first Sapphire Affiliate member, Ocean Technologies Group will be recognised as a supporting organisation of this award-winning publication. 

Through its learning brands Seagull, Videotel, Marlins and MTS, Ocean Technologies Group champions seafarer safety with a comprehensive library of maritime e-learning and boasts an unrivalled network of over 1,4000 customers, 20,000 vessels and 1,000,000 seafarers. 

"We have enjoyed a great working relationship with The Nautical Institute over many years using its members' expertise and knowledge to help us design and develop our training solutions. We passionately believe in the professional development of seafarers and so it was a natural progression for us to help support the Institute's work by becoming the first Sapphire Affiliate member," said Raal Harris, Creative Director of the Ocean Technologies' Group. 

"We are really pleased to welcome Ocean Technologies Group as our first Sapphire Affiliate member and having their support and appreciation for the work we do to promote best working practices in the maritime industry will greatly benefit our membership," said Captain John Lloyd FNI, CEO of The Nautical Institute. 

You can learn more about our first Sapphire Affiliate member here

Book of the month: A Guide to Bulk Carrier Operations 

Bulk carriers and their crews are subject to significant risks from cargoes that can catch fire, explode, corrode holds or simply deteriorate. This highly practical guide draws on the expertise of over 20 contributing authors, taking the reader through the essentials to complete a safe and successful voyage, from preparation and loading, to care of cargo and the ship at sea, and arrival and discharge.

Subjects covered include strength and stability, hatch cover care, enclosed spaces, charter parties, legislation, draught surveys, deballasting, monitoring hazardous cargoes, spontaneous combustion, fumigation, coal fires, liquefaction and oxygen-depletion, safe mooring and access, ship-shore communication and ship/shore damage.

The book draws on the expertise of more than 20 contributing authors who represent a wide range of disciplines within the dry bulk trades. Their text is complemented by clear diagrams and photographs, along with tips, checklists and case studies, making the book a pleasure to read. 

"This up-to-date key guidance should find its prominent place aboard every bulk carrier and in the library of every company and professional in our sector"
said Dr Kostas Gkonis, Secretary General of INTERCARGO.

A Guide to Bulk Carrier Operations is priced at £45.50 (£65.00 for non-members) but is available to all at the discounted price of £39.00 until the end of October - order your copy today by emailing
Hidden danger in bow thruster compartment
Sometimes a normally safe space can become a dangerous confined space when conditions change, as a recent MARS report 202058 illustrates.

A tanker was ballasting at berth when water was found to be flowing into the bow thruster compartment. Ballasting was stopped and, after the bow thruster's electrical supply was isolated, two crew members went into the compartment to assess the situation. When they had sprayed the motor with electrical cleaner, the two crew members exited the compartment for a coffee break.

The electrician later returned alone to continue working on the bow thruster motor. Fifteen minutes later the second crew member found him lying face down on the floor. He called the Master, who went down to the electrician but had to get out because of the strong smell of chemicals. The ship's rescue team, wearing BA sets, then tried to extract the man, but this proved impossible and an outside team had to be called. By the time he was able to be recovered from the space the electrician had died.

As the report notes, isolating the electrical supply also switched off the bow thruster compartment's ventilation, with the result that oxygen levels fell too low to support life. The Master's experience also highlights the danger of rushing into a space to help another person – the emergency team, wearing breathing apparatus, should be mustered.

The full MARS report in the database contains more details of the incident. It's part of a vital resource that's free to read online because of the support of our Nautical Affiliates. Please encourage your organisation to become a supporter of the MARS database.
New online revalidation process for DPOs
The DP revalidation process has now been updated to online only applications. From now on, revalidation of documents will be based on uploaded scans so you will not need to send documents to the NI offices unless you are requested to do so.

Once processed, the physical revalidated DP Certificate will be issued and sent to you by courier. This new process will enable the NI to handle applications more efficiently. In order for this advantage to be felt by all DPOs, applicants must provide all the information and document scans needed to complete applications. This will reduce the likelihood of delays if queries are raised.

The NI will continue to monitor the process, but we are confident this will be a change for the better. Those applying for the first time, upgrading or converting their certificate, will still need to provide hard copy documents to comply with the NI's rigorous audit scrutiny and to avoid fraud.

Following the introduction of Covid-19 special measures in March to afford DPOs greater flexibility in completing their training and gaining experience, the NI is now seeing a 50% increase in DP applications being received compared with the corresponding period in 2019. This is a welcome change, given the relative lull experienced in the globally turbulent period at the beginning of the pandemic.
187 Ice Navigator Certificates issued
Despite the ongoing global situation, applications for our Ice Navigator Certificate continue to be received, and the NI has now issued 187 certificates recognising unique skills and competency handling ships in dangerous ice conditions at sea.

We are delighted to welcome applicants from an increasingly international seafaring base, including many with skills in the offshore and luxury cruise sectors operating in remote locations in the high latitudes.

We are also continually working to engage training centres globally with the aim of recognising (and accrediting, where possible) intensive courses training seafarers in practical ice navigation skills above and beyond those required by the Polar Code.
Events guide (discounts for NI members)
The Institute has a network of over 50 branches worldwide and many organise local events, some of which may not be listed below. Check with your local Nautical Institute branch for details of their activities.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that due to the Coronavirus pandemic many events will not be going ahead. We recommend you check with the organiser to see whether a particular event has been cancelled, postponed or transferred online. 

02 November - Western Australia Branch - World Maritime Day
Fremantle, Victoria Quay

04 November - Ireland Branch - Energy Transition in Maritime Industry

16 November - NI short course: Risk & Risk Taking Behaviour 
(NI members receive a discount)  

16 - 17 November - Biofouling Management and Prevention Seminar (NI members receive a 20% discount)

19 November - Singapore Branch AGM


21 November - Western Australia Branch - Christmas Sundowner
Navy Club, Fremantle

23 - 26 November - CrewConnect Global


27 - 28 November - Future Skills Maritime - Global Virtual Conference and Product Show


30 November - Western Australia Branch - Combined Annual Dinner Event
The Raffles Hotel, Applecross

02 December - Solent Branch - End of year social
Kuti's Brasserie, Royal Pier

07 - 09 December - BWMTech North America 
(NI members receive a 20% discount)

17 - 25 April 2021 -  Singapore Maritime Technology Conference
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

22 April 2021 - London Branch - Fires on Containerships Conference
HQS Wellington, London
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