IIMS presents two Blue Water Awards to longstanding friends

At the Conference dinner, held at Chilworth Manor, Southampton on Tuesday 6th June, IIMS chose this occasion to publicly recognise two people who have made a big contribution to Institute life, but in very different ways. Here is a transcript from Mike Schwarz’s dinner speech announcing the presentations, which were presented by Peter Broad, IIMS President.

He said, “It is now my pleasure to announce two prestigious Blue Water Awards and in doing so, I am recognizing two people who have been fundamental in underpinning the work of the Institute over many years. Both are long-standing friends and colleagues from entirely different industry sectors and backgrounds. Continue reading “IIMS presents two Blue Water Awards to longstanding friends”

What caught my eye: May 2023

Repurposing an older vessel to host space flights

It fascinates me when two industry sectors combine, and it is great to know that an older OSV can be put to good use as a new spaceport. Recently I read an article about a former offshore supply vessel that is reportedly destined to become the world’s first marine spaceport for human spaceflight. Classification society ABS has reported it is supporting the planned reactivation and modifications to the 25-year-old vessel, which is expected to be operational later this year as part of test flights in advance of an anticipated 2024 commercial launch. Continue reading “What caught my eye: May 2023”

What caught my eye: April 2023

Farewell to Monique, the round the world sailing hen

Well, here’s a touching and enchanting story but with a sad end. News has reached my desk that Monique, the sailing hen, which famously accompanied French solo skipper Guirec Soudée on a five-year around the world voyage, has died. Breton sailor Soudée adopted Monique while on a stopover in the Canary Islands aboard his 38ft steel yacht, Yvinec, on his first solo circumnavigation in 2015. Continue reading “What caught my eye: April 2023”

What caught my eye: March 2023

Well here’s another collection of slightly off-piste marine-related stories that might have passed you by during March.

Philippines charges 15 crew members for smuggling P400 million worth of sugar

Now here’s a strange tale indeed. Smuggling the ‘white stuff’ usually has a very different connotation, but in this instance, it refers to nothing more harmful than sugar! Apparently, on Friday 17th February, the Philippines Agricultural Department charged 15 crew members of a cargo ship for smuggling sugar. The sugar cargo with a value of P400 million led authorities to charge the captain of MV Sunward and the rest of the crew with smuggling.

The incident happened in Batangas. The arrested persons’ identities are said to be 7 Chinese, 6 Indonesian Continue reading “What caught my eye: March 2023”

What caught my eye: February 2023

So here we go again with an eclectic mix and round-up of the news stories and events that grabbed my attention and caught my eye during February 2023.

Robots to collect litter from surface and deeper regions of the Mediterranean
Photo credit: Subsea Tech
Photo credit: Subsea Tech

Once again, I take my hat off to the ingenuity of people. Here is yet another fine example of innovation at work that deserves to succeed. After the success of the first autonomous robotic system designed to search for, identify, and collect seafloor litter, a consortium of European researchers will develop a team of robots to collect litter from the surface and deeper regions of the Mediterranean. Continue reading “What caught my eye: February 2023”

What caught my eye: January 2023

For the past 18 months or so, I have published a regular column in the monthly IIMS news bulletin entitled ‘what caught my eye’, but have now decided to share this content here through my blog additionally.  Some of the maritime stories I have souced have been important ones, some fascinating and some just downright daft. But I hope you will enjoy what I have chosen for you this month (and in future months to come too). Continue reading “What caught my eye: January 2023”

Here’s hoping for a calmer year ahead

The Legacy of the Fjords. Image credit thefjords.no
The Legacy of the Fjords. Image credit thefjords.no

Welcome to 2023. I wish you all the best for a fulfilling and successful year ahead despite the global challenges that surround us.

The January news bulletin is a bumper start to the year. I have decided to introduce a new feature that will appear in this and subsequent monthly news bulletins. Compiling the IIMS 2022 Safety & Loss Prevention Briefings Compendium late last year made me aware of just how many marine incidents and accidents are reported each month, many of which go unnoticed. I decided rather than saving them all up to publish at the end of this year, I’d share them with you on a month-by-month basis. I believe it is important to give surveyors (and the Continue reading “Here’s hoping for a calmer year ahead”

IIMS 2022 Safety & Loss Prevention Briefings Compendium published

Following the surprise runaway success of the first edition of the Safety & Loss Prevention Briefings Compendium, published in January 2022 by the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), and subsequently downloaded many thousands of times, Edition II has been launched covering the period January to October 2022. It is now available to download and read in pdf or eReader formats.

Edition II builds on the success of the launch publication and extends to 160 pages. The simple aim is to highlight the dangers of working in the maritime industry, the ensuing accidents and some of the prevention measures available to mitigate disasters at sea. The publication blends a mix of incident and accident reports with essential loss prevention advice generated over the year. One significant new feature is a calendar, featuring some of the many accidents that have occurred during 2022, catalogued month by month.

Click to download the full press release.

Carnage at sea in August. What’s happened and why?

Superyacht Hooligan pictured. Photo credit - Nomme Rescue Unit, Tallin
Superyacht Hooligan pictured. Photo credit – Nomme Rescue Unit, Tallin

We hear all the time about exciting breakthroughs in new technology and enhanced safety management systems designed to keep lives and assets safe at sea. We read in various reports that, in general, the number of serious incidents and accidents is falling year on year. So, what on earth went wrong in August? If you can help me to make sense of it all, please do so!

The number of incidents, mishaps, and accidents last month all over the world at sea and in ports is eyewatering – beyond belief – and frankly, more than anyone would agree is acceptable. In many instances, the cause and recommendations that come from the incidents, Continue reading “Carnage at sea in August. What’s happened and why?”

Lithium-ion batteries – should we be concerned?

Six stacks of battery modules in one of the battery rooms. Illustration: The battery contractor
Six stacks of battery modules in one of the battery rooms. Illustration: The battery contractor

An opinion article by Mike Schwarz, IIMS Chief Executive Officer.

I have written this short article following the publication of a report into a lithium-ion battery-related fire onboard the ‘MS Brim’ which generated the investigation by the Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority. The vessel in question is the ‘MS Brim’, a 2019-built all-electric excursion catamaran offering excursion tours in the Norwegian fjords. Although not a technical man, I am troubled by some of the report findings, and forgive me as I have cherry-picked the bits that concern me most from a lengthy report. Continue reading “Lithium-ion batteries – should we be concerned?”

IIMS July News Bulletin published

Have you ever wondered why incidents and accidents seem to come in clusters and often by type? I have. It is a strange phenomenon and one that I have no idea how to explain. Recently there were several enclosed space accidents hitting the news in quick succession and, sadly, with deaths to report. Then there was a spate of incidents within days of each other involving containers flying from ships into the seas. In some cases, it was just a handful, but in others, much larger numbers reported. And now, it seems, there has been a cluster of devastating fires, both at sea and on shore that have hit the headlines in recent weeks resulting in multiple Continue reading “IIMS July News Bulletin published”

IIMS Certifying Authority spring training day

The IIMS is hosting a face-to-face certifying authority training day on 19 May 2022 at the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole for its own (and other CA) coding examiners with an opportunity to join the afternoon session on life-saving equipment in an online capacity for those delegates who are further afield. Members and non-members are welcome to attend. The event is also likely to appeal to other surveyors who are not involved in MCA coding.

09.00 Refreshments on arrival

09.30 Chris Holloway, RNLI volunteer
He will discuss man overboard kit, lifejackets and recovery technologies. Continue reading “IIMS Certifying Authority spring training day”

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