March Propeller Club of London hosts IMO and special guests for networking lunch, by Marianne Shaw, Jeanius Consulting
Once again the Naval Club, Mayfair was the prestigious venue for the March networking lunch for the members of the Propeller Club of London.
Following pre-lunch drinks and networking in the bar, guests ascended the Naval Club’s beautiful stairway to be welcomed by Ian Millen, President of the Propeller Club who extended a warm welcome to members and guests.
Two former presidents of the club, Lord Ambrose Greenway and Jim Bellew were in attendance with the membership also joined by one of its most well-known members, Mr Efthymios Mitropoulos KCMG, former Secretary-General of the IMO. An international flavour was added to the proceedings by visiting Milan Propeller Club member, Alessandra Petillo.
The main guest speaker was Andrew Winbow, Assistant Secretary-General, Director, Maritime Safety Division IMO who, having been in a dilemma to know what to talk about out of his many areas of operation and career, chose to focus on the seafarer, emphasing their importance to the world economy; the industry’s role in providing them with the support they need to do their jobs effectively, efficiently and above all safely; while of course acknowledging that they are all individuals, with different cultures, religions, colours, languages and dispositions.
He praised the work done by the UK MCA on the general human element issue; “I would like to welcome the work done by the UK MCA in conjunction with industry in developing its Guide to human behaviour in the shipping industry. It is not only a valuable source of information but also a relatively easy read. It explains the fundamental aspects of human behaviour and makes clear that the human element is a key issue to address in the pursuit of a profitable and safe shipping industry. We are all well aware that, somewhere in the chain of events leading to accidents and costly incidents, there are people involved and, no matter how much more equipment we provide, systems we introduce, technology we develop, the essential piece in the jigsaw is how people perform: doing the right thing at the right time. The Guide provides very useful pointers and advice to help manage the human element more effectively, more safely and more profitably. I commend it to you “
Andrew then urged attendees to do all they could to encourage a career at sea. “I believe we – that is all of us here in the industry and our colleagues and contemporaries – should do all we can to make people (boys and girls of whatever ages) aware of the benefits of a sea career to gain that invaluable experience that will stand them in good stead to replace all of us in the years to come.” Talking about how much technology had changed the role of the seafarer since his own time at sea, he said emphasis should be placed on the human element of shipping and that faith in human capability should not wane as a result of more technology on-board, “We need to get back to the human in the equation if we are to successfully reduce incidents and accidents resulting from navigational failures – we know we can make the kit work, now we need to make the human work too, ” he said.
Leaving the guests with a reading of Jo Earl’s poem Rio de Janeiro (1959) and a few amusing anecdotes, Andrew rounded off yet another very enjoyable London Propeller Club event.
The next lunch event is on 23rd April at the Naval Club – please see the website for details www.propellerclublondon.org.uk