The IIMS publishes a regular monthly electronic News Bulletin that carries up to date information about Head Office activities and initiatives as well as news, details about forthcoming and recent events and current affairs from around the international IIMS family.

All monthly News Bulletins can be viewed in either pdf or eReader formats.

News Bulletin April 2024

View the April news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin April 2024 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

Listen to ‘lite’ podcast versions of the bulletin. Yacht & Small Craft Surveyors (run time 23 minutes). Commercial Ship Surveyors (run time 21 minutes).

In this new-fangled world we inhabit when old-fashioned thinking and ways of working are being scrapped and discarded in haste, new technologies seem to pose challenges and risks for us on an almost weekly basis. To counter this, I would argue that sometimes it is necessary to pause, draw breath, assess and, if required, rethink things rather than blunder on regardless. Rarely it seems do we do that. We plough on until something goes BANG. Only then do we stop and reassess. A colleague in a recent meeting was overheard to call the maritime world a ‘screwed up industry’. With all this in mind perhaps he has a point.

April sees me on the road again. I am looking forward to meeting surveyors in Baltimore, US on 12/13 April and a few days later at the Western Mediterranean Yacht & Small Craft training event in Palma, Mallorca on 25/26.

News Bulletin March 2024

View the March news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin March 2024 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

Listen to ‘lite’ podcast versions of the bulletin. Yacht & Small Craft Surveyors (run time 27 minutes). Commercial Ship Surveyors (run time 33 minutes).

Last year I wrote a couple of exploratory articles and gave a few presentations on the subject of AI technology and how it is inevitably already impacting on the marine surveying profession as well as in all our private lives too. I was genuinely surprised at the reaction from some – a sense of incredulity and disbelief from many, a feeling of vulnerability from others caused by the fear of the unknown – and from others a grudging acceptance that it is here to stay, and we need to grow and learn with it, as it continues its inexorable rise. I researched for the latest thinking about how AI technology is impacting the shipping and boating sectors.

I am delighted to inform you that the Report Magazine March 2024 edition 107 has been published.

News Bulletin February 2024

View the February news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin February 2024 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

And now for the first time, the bulletin is available to listen to in podcast format for the yacht and small craft industry (run time 27 minutes) and the commercial shipping industry (run time 50 minutes).

I was delighted at the feedback received, not just from IIMS members, but from the maritime world far and wide, following the publication of the 172 page Safety & Loss Prevention Briefings Compendium 2023. If you missed notification of its launch last month, the Compendium can still be downloaded for free.

Also, on the subject of engaging feedback, the response to President, Peter Broad’s article last month on tick box surveys, has certainly hit a nerve. Not much in the marine surveying world goes ‘viral’, but LinkedIn lit up when it was published, and the comments made are worth reviewing. Click here to read the article.

News Bulletin January 2024

View the January news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin January 2024 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

Welcome to 2024 and may the new year bring you success, happiness and good fortune. Last month I was invited to address the annual NAMS Global regional conference in the US online. There followed an invitation to attend a meeting of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group at the Palace of Westminster, home of the UK government. The next week, in conjunction with the IIMS Canada Branch, we shared an opportunity as the headline sponsor for the Canadian Bar Association’s (marine lawyers) online seminar entitled “Topical Issues and Recent Decisions in Maritime Law and Practice”.

I would like to remind members that IIMS has now moved to digital membership cards with immediate effect to further reduce the Institute’s carbon footprint. However, I appreciate some members will still need a hard membership card for identity purposes. Cards are still available at no extra cost. Hope to see some of you at the various seminars and other events during 2024.

News Bulletin December 2023

View the December news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin December 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

This past month has seen a number of successful training initiatives taking place. Interesting to see is the number of non IIMS members who have attended training this year. I make no apologies for training non-members and see it as a responsibility the Institute has to train anyone who wants to learn in an attempt to drive standards higher.

I am pleased to inform you that the December 2023 Report Magazine is published and available to read from today. The publication has had a makeover. The front cover looks more appealing and very modern. The inside pages too look a bit different. Edition 106 is another fine collection of features and articles to whet your appetite.

If you are a member and are expecting your annual plastic membership card to drop through your letterbox this year, it won’t unless you message the Institute to request one. As time and technology has moved on and, in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, IIMS has announced a move to digital cards with immediate effect.

News Bulletin November 2023

View the November news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin November 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

As I sat down to think about the content of my introduction to this month’s News Bulletin, my eye was drawn to a press release from Sunseeker, a UK international brand requiring little introduction which is synonymous with the large yacht sector. The press release reminded me that it is prime marine exhibition and show time, before the harsher northern hemisphere winter climate sets in.

I have just returned from the KORMARINE exhibition in South Korea. IIMS shared a stand with President Peter Broad’s company, Broadreach Marine Ltd. I am grateful to him for keeping me out of trouble during my trip! The exhibition itself was busy – perhaps 20,000 plus visitors. It was certainly a unique opportunity to promote ‘brand IIMS’ to a new audience. We exhibited as part of the Great Britain & Ireland pavilion. Photos and a short report of the event can be found in this bulletin with a longer version being published in next month’s Report Magazine. Whilst in Busan, Peter and I had the chance to participate in a UK Department of Trade networking event on the first night.

News Bulletin October 2023

View the October news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin October 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

Our first online Australian seminar was scheduled for mid-September and more than 80 people registered for the event. My thanks to those who helped to organise the event and also to those who spoke, including a welcome and introduction from IIMS President, Peter Broad.

The big event of the month for me personally came when I accepted an invitation to attend the 30th anniversary conference of the Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh (MSAB) as Guest of Honour, which was held at Hotel Agrabad, Chittagong. The event attracted an audience of well over one hundred delegates and it was certainly an adventure and an experience. Importantly, I also had the opportunity to chat openly at a private meeting with Commodore Maksud Alam, Bangladesh Director General of Shipping. I am most grateful to the MSAB President and Committee, my hosts, for making me feel so welcome and for looking after me during my short visit.

News Bulletin September 2023

View the September news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin September 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

The recent fire aboard the Freemantle Highway has once again brought the subject of the transportation of electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries by sea into sharp focus. The Dutch coast guard has stressed the cause of the fire on the 11-deck ship is officially unknown and authorities have been careful not to speculate. But an audio recording emerged of one rescue worker suggesting it had started in the battery of an electric vehicle and “it appears an electric vehicle exploded too”.

IIMS has a range of training activities taking place in the run-up to the end of the year. I am looking forward to making a trip to Scotland in November. It has been some while since we ran a training day in that area. It is also pleasing to be able to confirm our four-day practical surveying course for yacht and small craft surveyors will take place from 13 November at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis, UK.

News Bulletin August 2023

View the August news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin August 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

Every now and again I am invited to engage in something slightly unusual. Here’s one such example. Recently, the President of the Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh (MSAB), Captain Mahfuzul Islam, and IIMS Regional Director for Bangladesh, Capt Zillur Bhuiyan FIIMS, approached me as their local organisation heads towards its 30th anniversary. They invited IIMS President, Peter Broad, to compose an introduction to their special journal to mark this auspicious occasion.

IIMS is planning to return to the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis twice (subject to demand) for courses later this year. The first event, a new programme, is a 4-day residential practical surveying course giving delegates the opportunity to conduct in depth surveys on a couple of small craft under the instruction and guidance of two experienced surveyors before compiling a survey report for marking and assessment.

News Bulletin July 2023

View the July news bulletin in full: IIMS-News-Bulletin-July-2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

Well, what a past few weeks it has been in the life of IIMS. The team has certainly stretched itself on various fronts and to its limits, but ultimately has played a blinder. Well done and thank you. I am referring to the delivery of the recent Annual General Meeting, Southampton Conference and Dinner, coupled with a management board meeting which was followed the week after by our annual presence at Seawork.

Seawork is a good place to start my introduction this month perhaps. The event was good for IIMS and we met a number of old friends and made some interesting new ones. But the three-day show is likely to be best remembered by many for the explosive reaction and negative outpouring from many of those who attended the presentation given by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) on the proposed new Workboat Code 3, which is set to hit the statute books in January 2024 if all goes to plan.

And finally, before I close this month, I wanted to reference the two appalling avoidable disasters that have happened in the past few weeks that have rightly made major news headlines around the world.

News Bulletin June 2023

View the June news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin June 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

The report by the MAIB into another two needless deaths onboard the vessel Emma Louise at Port Hamble Marina once again reminds me of the hidden dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Had a CO detector been fitted on the boat, both men would still be alive today. Such devices are available in the UK at the local hardware store for as little as £20. It frustrates me that vessel owners do not routinely fit them and that there is no mandatory requirement to make them do so. It also poses the question as to where the limit of a surveyor’s duty of care ends. In my opinion, any surveyor boarding a small craft that does not have a CO detector should point out this deficiency to the vessel owner as a matter of course. You can read more about this avoidable tragic incident and download the report elsewhere in this bulletin.

I am pleased to announce the release of the June Report Magazine. Elsewhere in this bulletin you can find links to download the publication. I would particularly like to steer you to this edition for one reason and one alone. The onslaught of AI and its rise to the public’s attention in recent months is both fascinating and alarming.

News Bulletin May 2023

View the May news bulletin in full: IIMS News Bulletin May 2023 (pdf format) or click to read it in eReader format.

The Institute is currently in the midst of delivering some great hybrid training this Spring, both in the UK and further afield too as the year unfolds. Recent events these past few weeks have seen a good number of members participating and the range of topics covered has been wide. The small craft seminar at the end of March saw more delegates returning in person to network face-to-face with their fellow surveyors. But still the majority of attendees are joining online, proving that hybrid is the way to go.

Lithium-ion batteries have been the subject of several presentations and we will come back again to this important topic as regulation lags but starts to be developed. It and its associated dangers are a subject that is frightening a good number of people. The aim quite simply has been to lift the lid off this technology, still misunderstood by many and it will be a recurring theme throughout 2023 to help surveyors understand the challenges.

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