Clipper Ventures calls for independent inquiry into the MCA and MAIB

Simon Speirs was lost overboard while working forward when tragically his tether line hook distorted and released. Image © Clipper Race

Following an investigation into the tragic death of Simon Speirs, Clipper Ventures has called on the Department for Transport to hold an independent inquiry to establish the full extent of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigatory teams’ failure of professionalism, impartiality and honesty.

On the 18th November 2017, Simon Speirs, a 60 year old retired solicitor, fell overboard whilst helping to reduce sail. The yacht, CV30, owned by Clipper Ventures, was participating in an around the world race and was experiencing increasing winds and sea state in the Southern Ocean. Mr Speirs was tethered to the boat but fell overboard due to a freak failure of a tether safety clip. Mr Speirs was recovered Continue reading “Clipper Ventures calls for independent inquiry into the MCA and MAIB”

The opportunities that long haul flights present for strategic thinking

Long haul flights present the perfect downtime for thinking and reflection in my opinion. Those endless hours whiling away the time in the air, wondering how many more absurd movies you can watch or books you can read, is a challenge! It’s true, I do a lot of strategic thinking when I travel. My colleagues tease me whenever I come back from a long trip as my head is stuffed with good ideas, well some are good, some less so.

How lucky for me then that I am about to head out to Australia the week after next – more thinking time – stopping in Singapore on the way back. I am particularly thrilled at the number of members and non-members who have signed up for the two day IIMS Australia seminar in Brisbane. We are quite a crowd. I am very much looking forward to meeting both those I know well and those who I have never Continue reading “The opportunities that long haul flights present for strategic thinking”

Reflections on a memorable 2019 IIMS London Conference

Mike Schwarz (right) welcomes Toastmaster, Richard Palmer, to 10/11 Carlton House Terrace

Great venues. Brilliant speaker content on a range of relevant surveying topics. Meeting old friends and colleagues. Excellent food and the odd beer or two. What’s not to like about an IIMS London Conference? OK so we had non stop rain and a train strike to contend with, but that did not put a dampener on proceedings! Judging by my email inbox, the event would seem to have been a great success not only for those who joined us in person, but also for our increasing number of online delegates who joined online from far afield via Zoom. If I have one regret it is simply that only 75 of our near 1,000 members were present and exposed to some wonderful and pertinent content.

These events are not easy to get right and they require detailed preparation. The IT is always a challenge – trust me I know! Making the right food choices is equally challenging. So my thanks to my colleagues who worked so hard behind the scenes to deliver this year’s Continue reading “Reflections on a memorable 2019 IIMS London Conference”

Are we compromising life due to enclosed spaces?

Once again the subject of enclosed space fatalities is back in the marine news headlines following a spike of fatalities and incidents over the past 18 months. I for one find it very distressing to read about this phenomenon on a regular basis, which could surely be prevented? This news story brings the numbers into stark reality and, as it clearly shows, 2018 was a shockingly bad year, in fact the worst since statistics became available back in 1999; and 2019 has started in a similar vein with more high profile cases. Seemingly we do we not learn as an industry. Why? At the very least it would seem sensible to take appropriate precautions before entering an enclosed or confined space. I wonder if it simply a lack of training and education, because I suspect it runs deeper than that. None of us is immortal and indestructible. We think it will not happen to us. But I urge any marine surveyor to take extreme caution when entering an enclosed space and, let me remind you, small spaces in yachts and small craft can Continue reading “Are we compromising life due to enclosed spaces?”

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