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Captain David (Duke) Snider FNI was elected a new President of Nautical Institute

The newly elected President of The Nautical Institute, Captain David (Duke) Snider FNI, pledged to ensure the mariner's voice is heard loud and clear within the maritime industry. He was speaking at the Institute's AGM in Aberdeen, Scotland, on 9 June as he formally took over the helm from Captain Robert McCabe FNI.

Captain Snider joined The Nautical Institute in 1989 while studying for his Watchkeeping Mate's certificate of competency in Canada. His instructor told him that the Institute was "the organisation that is about best practice in all the manner of going to sea as an officer" – one constant in a fast-changing world. He was a founder member of the British Columbia Branch, has been an active member of Council and was elected Senior Vice-President in 2014.

As an experienced ice navigator, Duke wrote the Institute's acclaimed work on the subject, Polar Ship Operations. He told his AGM audience that during his time in office he hopes to inaugurate the Institute's Ice Navigator Training Accreditation and Certification schemes. Members can also expect to see a continuing focus on command, manning and fatigue, mentorship, continuing professional development (CPD) and the human element in design.
Speaking at the Institute’s annual general meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland, Captain Snider said that one of his first roles as President will be to champion the new five-year Strategic Plan, which was launched in March.
The plan, informed by responses from more than 1,400 members surveyed in a questionnaire, will see a renewed focus on human element projects aimed at building competencies for modern integrated ships. Command, manning and fatigue, mentorship and continuing professional development (CPD) were other themes identified for further development.
In his acceptance speech, Captain Snider explained: “We will continue to work within our industry to promote the improvement in usability of shipboard equipment by including seafarers in the human-centred design of systems and equipment.” Too often, he suggested, design or regulation is introduced without sufficient thought being given to their effects on the mariner, particularly on their workload.
The new President paid warm tribute to his predecessor in the post, Captain Robert McCabe FNI, and reminded his audience that the Institute’s long-serving CEO, Philip Wake OBE FNI, will be retiring next year. He added a personal endorsement of the organisation he now leads: “Without The Nautical Institute I would not be the mariner I am today.”


Captain Duke Snider FNI, President, The Nautical Institute


Captain Duke Snider has amassed a broad range of seagoing experience over the past 30 years in naval, commercial and Canadian Coast Guard shipping, much of it in ice-covered waters. He has experience as the Regional Director Fleet Pacific for the Canadian Coast Guard, as Master Mariner. Within The Nautical Institute, he is a member of the Council and director of the British Columbia branch and was lead author of the Ice Navigator Standards developed for Transport Canada for submission to the IMO for inclusion in the Polar Code.

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