The death of two IIMS stalwarts announced

The past week has been one of great sadness for me personally, the IIMS head office team, Institute members, and the wider maritime industry with the announcements of the passing of two IIMS champions. Last week, I received news of the passing of Peter Morgan HonFIIMS. Peter died on 4 April. And then just a week later, news that John Excell FIIMS had lost his brave battle and succumbed to a long illness reached me. The news of both deaths affected me greatly.

Detailed obituaries are being prepared for both men and will appear in the June 2021 Report Magazine.

But for now, let me try and make sense of what has been the toughest of weeks as both men were well known to me and many others. Indeed, both in their own ways gave so much to the Institute and will be sorely missed.

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The Ever Given Suez Canal Incident

Ever Given. Photo credit: Vesselfinder
Ever Given. Photo credit: Vesselfinder

I am minded to write this post for my blog on the very afternoon that the mega container ship, Ever Given, is freed from her unfortunate mooring, which has been her home for the best part of a week. This freak incident, (causes unknown at this point), is yet another reminder of the perils of shipping and our reliance on it. And it has certainly hit the world news headlines big time, not surprisingly. Smit Boskalis, it seems, has done a remarkable job to free her. I know little of such intricate salvage situations, but clearly they handled it in such a way as to preserve the ship and her valuable cargo. Only time will tell, once inspected more fully, if there is hull damage. It serves as a reminder to the dangers and hazards of shipping, some of which cannot be envisaged until it is too late, which lurk around each corner.  I can only imagine the cost to marine insurers and vessel owners will run into many billions.

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Who knows where the time goes?

A new entry to my blog is long overdue. As an aside, the title of this blog –  ‘Who knows where time goes’ – is one of my favourite songs, written by the talented and much missed Sandy Denny, and sung by her when with Fairport Convention, one of my favourite bands. Perhaps that plug will get me a free ticket to a future gig? But although I digress shamelessly, the fact is that one day simply merges into the next due to the pandemic and the current lockdown in the UK, as time slips easily by. With the inability to do much at the moment, a work day in the week is little different to the weekend it seems. Our lives are disrupted and mundane, but for good reason. Let’s hope this pandemic clears through soon. And yes, these are challenging times, not just for many working marine surveyors who are finding it hard to go about their lives as normal, but for many others too. Please stay safe and if you are working at this time, do carry out enhanced risk assessments. Continue reading “Who knows where the time goes?”

Remembering the novelty of face-to-face training

Do you recall those days when we used to get together in a room to do some face-to-face training and networking? It seems an age ago already with Zoom and Teams taking over as the was to train. So, imagine my angst when the planned 7 day practical course at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis, which had been under development for more than a year, was placed in jeopardy by the pandemic. It was unclear if we could run the event safely until just a couple of weeks prior. But I am delighted to say we managed to get the course away with a reduced number of 6 students.

I spent a day with the students – social distancing and other sensible pandemic measures were in place naturally. As I write, the course has just one more day to run, including Continue reading “Remembering the novelty of face-to-face training”

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