The month of April yields brighter skies and new optimism

As we emerge from winter and go full into Spring in the UK, I become fully energised at this time and the passing of the years does not diminish this. As we emerge from the gloom of winter, the weather improves, daylight hours get longer, I can cycle in the late evening sunshine and my life changes with the changing seasons.

Setting this new found optimism against a darkening international political backdrop slightly takes the edge off things for sure. These are worrying times. We are all watching what is happening in the world closely I am sure. It leads me to question if there are implications for the marine surveying sector specifically? I suspect not however.  Many surveyors already work in highly dangerous locations across the world and in difficult circumstances too, performing their important and challenging roles. But if I have one message it is to be safe in your work and to ensure you risk assess carefully.

With safety in mind, I recommend the initiative we are taking in conjunction with MRL to provide practical based training on enclosed space entry at a location near Southampton in May. This most vexing of subjects continues to cause fatalities needlessly, often due to ignorance of the associated dangers of working in and accessing enclosed spaces. Click for for further details.

The month of April sees me criss-crossing Europe. Last week’s trip to the Royal Huisman superyacht yard in Vollenhove, Netherlands was very special. To see a 60 metre superyacht in advanced build stage was an extraordinary sight and one many are unlikely to have seen before. It was a privilege. My personal thanks to the Directors of Royal Huisman for allowing us access to all parts of their facility. What an eye opener it was.

The inaugural eCMID Conference for Accredited Vessel Inspectors, for which IIMS is the accrediting body, takes place on Tuesday 25 April in Amsterdam. We have a good audience and it promises to be an excellent one day gathering, learning and networking forum. I am looking forward very much to hosting the event. Preparations are now well advanced.

That same week sees the IIMS Large Yacht & Small Craft Training Group gather for its annual event around the Palma Superyacht Show. The programme is a great mix of practical and classroom based training. Looking forward to catching up with Western Med surveyors at this one.

London Conference details have been released recently. I recommend the two day event on 11 and 12 September. We have attracted a good and varied selection of quality speakers across both days. The AGM will take place on Tuesday 12 September at Regent’s University from 14.00. Dinner will take place at the iconic Churchill Cabinet War Rooms. I am out on a site visit to London this week to see both venues and to make the final arrangements. The Conference has been deliberately planned for the start of London Shipping Week to enable members to do both. Do come! We are taking reservations now.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the recent sad passing of Capt David (Dave) Green. Although I did not know Dave well, I am grateful to the contribution he made over many years to the IIMS distance learning education programme. Undoubtedly his knowledge of draught surveying was extraordinary. It seems away from the world of surveying he lived a full and enjoyable life with many outside interests. My condolences to his wife, Linda, and their family.  I am grateful to Capt Ian Wilkins for the obituary he has written.

I finish this blog entry where I started it with my new found Spring optimism and boundless energy. Life is busy. Life is good.

Survey well!

Mike Schwarz
Chief Executive Officer