Welcome to the roaring 2020s; let’s make it safer than the last decade!

Not the first to wish you Happy New Year I am sure, but I would like to offer marine surveyors, boat and ship owners and all those involved in maritime trade around the globe best wishes as we enter the new decade – and what a decade it promises to be.

If I have one wish for the 2020s it is simply this – let’s collectively strive to make this decade a safer one than the last one with fewer fatalities and casualties at sea! Of course marine surveyors have an underlying and pivotal role to play in the quest to keep lives safe at sea. As the leading worldwide body for the profession, I pledge that IIMS will do whatever it can to support, train and develop existing and new entrant marine surveyors to enable them to deliver great survey work at the top of their game.

I have just written an article to be published in the Report Magazine March 2020, reviewing the last decade and frankly it made sobering reading. As a sector, the marine industry should look back with its head lowered in shame at some of the high profile disasters that occurred between 2010 and 2019, many of them entirely preventable. You don’t need me to remind you of these accidents I am sure. But ever thus. We must learn from these shocking events and heed what history teaches us and not shirk our collective responsibilities.

On a lighter note, looking back at how IIMS has grown and embraced technology over the past 10 years was the source of much pride. I can promise more of the same as we develop new training platforms, certification and accreditation schemes with the aim of raising standards for the benefit of those involved in the marine surveying and maritime industry at large, with the ultimate goal of helping to keep lives safe at sea.

It is important that new concepts and fresh talent are attracted into our industry, challenging the norms and rocking us from our comfort zones so that when we look back in 2030 we will see considerable change for the better. Just now the environmental shipping agenda is at the top of the pile and rightly so. I refer in part to the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap regulations that have just come into force. It is too early to know what the ramifications will be, but surely they can only be positive? And many other ‘green’ initiatives are now starting to bear fruit too around the world.

IIMS has followed the progress of Boyan Slat, CEO and Founder of The Ocean Cleanup, with considerable interest. Still in his mid twenties, his vision and passion are impressive and infectious. This industry needs more young entrants with an entrepreneurial streak such as his. It is for his entrepreneurial and dogged spirit that IIMS has marked him out as one to watch in the 2020s. I recommend you read about his innovative work with The Interceptor™. And whether or not he succeeds in his almost impossible mission, it is this type of thinking we must encourage and allow to flourish.

Welcome to the roaring 2020s!

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz
IIMS Chief Executive Officer

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