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New Technical Adviser joins string IMCA technical team

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Chris Balwin

Chris Balwin

Chris Baldwin is the newest member of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Secretariat. He has joined the Team as a Technical Adviser following a short secondment from the Royal Navy. The association has a strong team of eight Technical Advisers working with Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director.

Chris has spent 29 years in the Royal Navy and most recently held a position in the UK MoD’s Defence Safety and Environment Authority, as the Diving Regulator and Superintendent of Diving. His career has encompassed a range of Warfare Officer (which equates to Seaman or Deck Officer in the merchant marine) sub-specialist trades, including as a British Sea Fisheries Officer, a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diver (MCDO), and a Principal Warfare Officer. He has served at sea as an Officer of the Watch, Operations Officer and Executive Officer (equates to Chief Officer/Mate) onboard destroyers, frigates, patrol and mine warfare vessels. He has also held diving command and training posts ashore. His career path has given him a wide maritime experience including: DP, AUV and ROV operations; ship and Offshore Installation security; competency training, safety auditing and most recently commercial diving.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris as something of an all-rounder role in the Secretariat, ” says IMCA’s CEO, Chris Charman. “He is working mainly in the Marine and Remote Systems and ROV Divisions; acting as Secretary for the Remote Systems & ROV Division Management Committee; and manages the CMID (Common Marine Inspection Document) scheme. He leads on maritime security business and, after completing the basic DPO course, also assists in the DP area. He completed an MSc in Project Management in 2004 and holds vocational qualifications in Occupational Health and Safety, Accident Investigation and is a qualified OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor.  He is ideal for the post – a round peg in the proverbial round hole, and has already made himself an invaluable team member.”

Eager to get out to the ‘frontline’ of the marine contractor domain, to meet the people working in this dynamic and varied business environment, Chris Baldwin says: “I really want to understand the issues faced by the people working in the industry so that while I am here in the Secretariat I can help ensure that we are able to provide the best support, advice and guidance we can to IMCA members.

“While my background is from the military I have been pleasantly surprised at how the principles and concepts of maritime operations are almost the same in this commercially focussed environment. Having had to watch every single penny I spent in the defence domain, it is wonderful to be in an environment which, though geared to ensuring value for money, is nevertheless able to resource its activity through proper income generation.

“I must add that I have been made to feel very welcome by everyone I have come across so far, from the Secretariat staff itself to the stakeholders in the various sectors I have been involved with and I am very much looking forward to meeting more in the future. I am starting with three priorities for the year: firstly to produce a revised CMID process; secondly to assist the development of a common ROV operator ‘operational performance’ standard; thirdly to produce security guidance for members based on my many years’ experience of this matter in the RN.”

On leaving the Navy Chris Baldwin has been commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) in the rank of Commander, specifically to oversee the expansion of the RNR Diver Branch as part of the wider expansion of the UK Reserve Forces. The RNR plays a significant role in supporting international maritime trade providing personnel to man the UK Maritime Trade Operations centre in Dubai. Being an RNR officer will ensure that in his technical adviser role for maritime security he will have improved liaison opportunities with national and international security authorities, thereby hopefully bringing added value to IMCA’s membership.

Further information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its 970+ member companies in over 60 countries is available from www.imca-int.comand imca@imca-int.com. The association has LinkedIn and Facebook groups and its Twitter handle is @IMCAint

About IMCA

  • IMCA is an international association with some 970 members in over 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
  • IMCA Vision & Strategy. As a result of work and collective input in 2013, IMCA has redefined its stated core purpose to be “Improving performance in the marine contracting industry”. To achieve this goal, IMCA’s Vision & Strategy has been devised with two elements in mind: Core activities and ways of working. Targets and objectives against which the association will measure progress in 2014 have been established.  Note to Editors: We are more than happy to expand on this in tailor-made articles – just put us to the test, email judithpatten@jppr.uk.com or phone her on +44(0)20 8241 1912 to explain what you would like covered, length, and deadline.
  • IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as eCMID, safety recommendations, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.

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