Speech of the President of The Nautical Institute
Dr. Phil Anderson, BA (Hons) D. Prof, FNI On the occasion of:
The 60th Anniversary of the Odessa National Maritime Academy
Minister, Honoured Guests, fellow mariners, ladies and gentlemen:
I am honoured to be here to take part in the celebrations for the 60th Anniversary of this great Maritime Academy and it is particularly significant for me as this is my first official representation of The Nautical Institute outside the United Kingdom since being elected President on 27th May. I have heard much about the Odessa National Maritime Academy from my Institute colleagues and I look forward to the tour of its facilities and meeting the students later today. The Nautical Institute was pleased to be able to recognize the excellence of the facilities, courses, and teaching here in 2001 with the award of a special Certificate of Recognition. We are also very grateful for the support that the Academy provides to The Nautical Institute of the Ukraine with office facilities here and the close working relationship our members in the Ukraine have with this Academy. I commend to you their quarterly Journal, Sea Review, as it is currently the only Nautical Institute publication printed in Russian and its articles are an excellent means of developing professional knowledge.
I think most would agree that much has happened during the first thirty years of the Institute's life which is also the second half of the life of this famous Academy such that the structure and operation of commercial shipping, and no doubt within the military Navy, has changed dramatically. I have started to reflect upon the very definition of the Nautical Professional and to consider whether the usual definition of the Captain, Chief Engineer and their officers was still truly accurate to describe that Professional in year 2004. Is there some rethinking needed in light of the findings from those various projects developed within the Institute's current five year plan as well as industry developments generally? For example, the shift towards a systems approach to management - - QA, ISM, ISPS etc. Managing a ship with half, or less, of the staff available to their predecessors a generation or so before; managing a multinational workforce and all the other commercial and legal pressures associated with modern shipping. It occurred to me that the modem Nautical Professional requires all the professional knowledge and skills of Ms / her predecessors and much, much more. As a consequence the work of the Nautical Institute and this premier Maritime Academy is more important than ever before to help provide the training, support and updating knowledge which is needed to achieve that end. Further, we must not only continue to rise to the challenges posed but must ensure that we are in the driving seat!
There is still much to do in the projects identified within the Institute's existing Plans for the Future if we are to make a real and lasting difference on these subjects in the maritime world. There is certainly the knowledge and the will in our membership for improving the application of the Collision Regulations, developing leadership skills, and empowering the master but we need to involve much more than just our membership in these processes. This is a major dissemination task to employers (be they owners, managers, or agents) and employees, training establishments and regulatory bodies. It is a task in which our branch network is very important as their close relationships with Maritime Academies such as this one helps to provide the essential two way communication to seek and agree solutions to professional problems with input from the new generation of seafarers.
We also have a valued partnership with Lloyd's Register in running the 3 year Human Element Awareness Campaign, which has recently been successful in winning the prestigious Seatrade Award for Innovation in Ship Operations, and I believe there is scope for further projects to be run in a similar co-operative way. The Institute's interest and involvement in virtually all sectors of the maritime industry with an international membership means that we can bring together professionals from all the maritime disciplines to address issues affecting the safety and efficiency of shipping.
The Odessa National Maritime Academy has a well established and richly deserved reputation for excellence in training its young seafarers and the clear focus on safe operations is greatly appreciated. Surviving the ups and downs of the past 60 years is an achievement in itself and I am confident that the Academy will face the continuing change within shipping in the future with confidence.
I wish you a safe and profitable voyage. Thank you.