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Gib Maritime at British Red Ensign conference

Maritime Chief Surveyor Rob Cumbes and Senior Surveyor Dylan Cocklan have attended the annual 'Red Ensign Group Conference' at Portland in UK. Delegates represented the UKs maritime authorities and shipping administrations of the Crown Dependencies and UK Overseas Territories. Held 24 to 26 May it saw a wide range of topics under discussion including compliance with the IMO Instruments Implementation Code, Maritime Security, yacht technical Code Development, delegation policy, marine Surveyor Standards and Maritime Casualty Investigations. The Red Ensign Group (REG) is a group of British Shipping Registers. Any vessel registered in the UK, a Crown Dependency or UK Overseas Territory is a "British ship" and is entitled to fly the Red Ensign flag.

Minister for Shipping, Albert Isola said conferences such as this were a fantastic opportunity for Gibraltar to have a voice in exchanging views, discussing technical issues and formulating joint policy, involving the directors of REG maritime administrations and their senior technical personnel.

“This is a growth industry for Gibraltar and professional development opportunities for our staff are crucial to ensuring that we are best placed to capitalise on it,” he said.

The conference was chaired by Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the UK Marine and Coastguard Agency and a former senior officer in the Royal Navy who served as the Second Sea Lord.

The Government statement highlighted that maritime security is high on the agenda for all involved in international shipping.

“Senior representatives from the UK Department of Transport Marine Security Section were in attendance to provide updates on shipping security and hot spots around the world and existing and proposed measures to aid shipping in the addressing security threats.”

A conference reception was held on board the historic HMS Warrior in Portland Harbour, hosted by the MCA and attended by Robert Goodwill, Minister of State for Transport, and the Labour Shadow Minister for Shipping.

Maritime Chief Surveyor, Rob Cumbes, said: “Surveyor training to be able to comply with the III Code – which will soon become mandatory internationally - was of particular interest to Gibraltar. Because of our unique position and the number of ships that visit Gibraltar, the GMA has been requested to aid in the training of Port State Control officers from the Isle of Man.”

Gibraltar expects Isle of Man surveyors to come for periods of one or two weeks during the summer months to gain experience and be mentored by GMA surveyors.

“As another example, Cayman Islands, who specialise in yachts and super yachts, have provided training opportunities for other REG members’ surveyors to gain yacht surveying experience,” he said.