Here’s hoping for a calmer year ahead

The Legacy of the Fjords. Image credit
The Legacy of the Fjords. Image credit

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 wide maritime world) a snapshot of what is happening when it comes to safety of lives at sea. I am not aware of this information being available each month in one place. It may also prove to be helpful when we look to see what trends are emerging too.

Last year I made a bit of a fuss (and wrote an article) about Lithum-ion batteries and their dangers to shipping. My thoughts and views have not changed. However, late last year I had the opportunity on a trip to Norway to explore the Norwegian fjords for a day on a Lithium-ion powered vessel, The Legacy of the Fjords – a sister ship to the Brim which experienced a Lithium-ion fire a couple of years ago. I have to say it was a totally pleasurable and novel experience, taking in the beautiful scenery in almost complete silence. But my concerns persist.

The last IIMS UK Conference took place way back in 2019 for all the reasons you know. We have assessed the possibilities of holding the 2023 AGM and Conference as a hybrid event, meaning you are welcome and encouraged to come and be with us in person, or you can join online. Sadly, London has priced itself out of the UK Conference market altogether. The increase in the costs of hotels, meeting venues, catering and travel really shocked me when I did some research recently. So, to hold an in-person event in the UK’s capital would be unaffordable for many. For the 2023 AGM and Conference, we have chosen Southampton as our venue. And we plan a Dinner on the evening of 6th June too. There is more information in this news bulletin about the event, the costs and so on. It’s too early to publish a list of presenters, but we have some great ideas in the pipeline.

Almost unbelievably for me, I am about to start my tenth year as CEO of the Institute. Frankly, I have no idea where the past decade has gone, but what I do know is that I enjoy my role just as much now as I did way back in 2014. Over that time my job has evolved as indeed has the Institute and the wider shipping and marine industry with the onslaught of new technologies and decarbonization dominating the agenda.

As the world opens up slowly but surely I do hope to be able to meet a number of members over the coming year. We have published a list of events for 2023. But almost everything we do this year will offer an in-person as well as online joining option. So, if we don’t get to meet face-to-face, perhaps I’ll catch you online!

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz
IIMS Chief Executive Officer

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