Welcome by Nautical Institute Hong Kong Branch Chairman.
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 2017 Nautical Institute Hong Kong Branch Conference. The Hong Kong SAR Government asked the Branch to participate once again in Hong Kong Maritime Week, and the Branch Committee decided to organize a full day conference to discuss the important topic of ‘Safe Manning On Board Ships’, an issue that affects many of us in this room, and not just the seafarers working on board. Manning and Fatigue is one of the areas that were identified by the Nautical Institute as requiring their focus in their Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020.
The title of the Conference poses a question, and also utilizes a dollar sign, instead of the letter ‘S’ in the word ‘Safe’. This is intentional, to emphasize the role costs play in the ‘manning’ of vessels.
The Branch have posted information about the Conference on the Branch website, and also set up Twitter and Linked In social media accounts, to provide discussion forums leading up to the Conference and for your feedback, after the Conference.
An article written by today’s Chairman of the Conference, Michael Grey, entitled ‘One man and a dog’ has been posted, which I would recommend you read. A comment posted referring to Michael’s role as Chairman, said “Unlikely you will find a better observer and commentator on the good and bad of the marine industry”
The title of the conference was queried on social media, with one gentleman suggesting the Conference should have been named ‘Safe Crewing On Board Ships’, as the reference to ‘manning’ did not include women. A response referred him to the use of ‘Minimum Safe Manning Certificates’ on board ships. So, good discussion is being generated and we hope that can continue after today’s conference.
We are pleased to note that there are some women with us today, including some aspiring female maritime students and cadets. In fact today we are joined by over 20 students from the Hong Kong Maritime Service Training Institute (MSTI).
This Conference would not have been possible without the generous support of the maritime industry. We have many sponsors, and their logos are all displayed on the stage back drop for you to see. In particular, the Branch would like to thank Steamship Mutual P & I Club, our Platinum Sponsors, as well as Seagull, our Gold Lunch sponsors, Anglo-Eastern, our Gold Conference Bag sponsors, and The Marshall Islands Registry, who have kindly sponsored the drinks and canapes party, to take place at Café 8 upstairs here at the museum, immediately after the Conference. I hope to see you all there.
With the support of all our Sponsors today, we have been able to provide you what is looking like becoming, the ‘best’ Conference ever staged by the Branch. Also, with remaining funds, we will be able to continue to support The Mission to Seafarers in Hong Kong, and we are pleased that the Reverend Stephen Miller is going to be with us today. Also, the Branch supports the work of the Maritime Professional Promotion Federation (MPPF), who help youngsters starting out in their seafaring careers. We will continue to arrange presentations on topics which are of significant importance to the maritime community.
The Branch is ran by a committee, elected from local members, including seagoing members, but this Conference has been organized by a small sub-committee ably lead by John Wilson and Arthur Bowring as Co- Chairs, and including Hans Langsrud, Shiraz Mogul, Suresh Anand,
Luca Ferrerio, and Petty Leung. Thank you for your time and effort, it has not gone un-noticed.
I would also like to thank our speakers and panelists, some of whom have travelled great distances to be with us today.
We are honored to have with us Dr. Raymond So, Under Secretary for Transport and Housing, HKSAR Government, who will provide the Opening/Welcome Address.
To each one present here - Thank you for taking time to attend this important Conference. I would now like to ask Dr. So to give us his address.