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"OCIMF representatives have been out and about making important connections and strengthening relationships. I look forward to this continuing in the coming months."

Director's Log 

How refreshing to be travelling once again and having the opportunity to meet with members and stakeholders in different parts of the world.

I visited Singapore at the end of July, where I received updates on regional security issues and heard from members and maritime organisations on their challenges and progress being made with SIRE2.0. Meetings with officials at the Maritime and Port Authority and Maritime Department in Malaysia provided the opportunity to raise OCIMF’s profile after the restrictions of the pandemic. We were able to demonstrate proactively that we are ready for the future and SIRE 2.0.

I am most grateful to the membership in the region for making me feel welcome. If members would like more details of the visit, please do not hesitate to contact Sashidaran Gopala, OCIMF Quality Assessor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As you will see from this month’s newsletter, OCIMF representatives have been out and about making important connections and strengthening relationships. I look forward to this continuing in the coming months.

In the meantime, I wish you all a productive September.

Karen Davis

Director OCIMF

OCIMF strengthens its relationship with the World Maritime University

In August, an OCIMF delegation visited the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden, where Director Karen Davis signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen our collaborative work in the field of human factors in safety and incident investigation and to support the IMO’s drive for maritime decarbonisation.

The MoU was co-signed by WMU President Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry. It builds upon the existing strategic partnership, which has already contributed to the White Paper, Towards a Safety Learning Culture for the Shipping Industry, as part of the EU’s SAFEMODE project.

Security snippets

During a visit to Singapore, the OCIMF Managing Director and members received maritime security updates from the Singapore Shipping Association, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), the Singapore Information Fusion Centre and in Malaysia the International Maritime Bureau.

It was a great opportunity to hear first-hand about security challenges and the positive effect OCIMF members have had on supporting the development of regional guidance. The visit was coincidental with five years to the day since OCIMF signed an MoU with the ISC, and an opportunity for the new ReCAAP ISC Executive Director, Mr Krishnaswamy Natarajan, to share his ideas for the future. Thanks go to all our Singapore-based members who support these regional security institutions.

On 22 August, industry associations announced the delisting of the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA). For over a decade, the HRA, coupled with the publication of Best Management Practice (BMP), has been one of industry’s most successful collaborative efforts to keep seafarers safe. It is reassuring that the threat from Somali piracy has been supressed, but industry faces many other maritime security threats in this region. The guidance within BMP remains pertinent and the need for pre-voyage threat and risk assessment is critically important. A copy of the announcement can be found here.

The Maritime Security Committee will meet virtually on Thursday 8 September, if any member would like to join the discussion to gauge whether committee membership would be of value, please contact Russell Pegg, Security Adviser, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Inaugural WMU Summer Institute on Maritime Decarbonisation 

An OCIMF delegation attended the inaugural WMU Summer Institute on Maritime Decarbonisation in August. The intensive week-long event involved 35 attendees from 20 countries, learning about and discussing the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This was a unique learning opportunity for OCIMF’s participants – Managing Director Karen Davis, Publications and Advocacy Director Saurabh Sachdeva and Engineering Adviser Filipe Santana – with wide-ranging insights into the development of a regulatory framework for sustainability both at the IMO and on a regional basis across the EU, US and SE Asia.

The lectures considered design, operational optimisation, innovation and future technologies, development of alternative fuels, standards for cold-ironing, supply chain and financing. The event was delivered by Dr. Aykut I Olcer and a team of WMU faculty and researchers.

Participants at the WMU Summer Institute on Maritime Decarbonisation display their certificates.

OCIMF meets with Global Maritime Forum, Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center and Zero North

OCIMF met senior representatives from the Global Maritime Forum, Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center and Zero North in Copenhagen to discuss how the organisations can work collaboratively to support decarbonisation of the maritime industry through furthering technical excellence.

There was an open dialogue about the challenges and the opportunities that can be tackled through partnership and sharing of expertise. Discussions included how to share learnings and outcomes from research, a review of lifecycle assessment of new fuels from the perspective of safety and users, international technical standards on cold ironing, and consideration of new tools and technology for digital optimisation and operational efficiencies in the sector. OCIMF was represented by Managing Director Karen Davis, Publications and Advocacy Director Saurabh Sachdeva and Engineering Adviser Filipe Santana.

OCIMF and IOGP strengthen collaboration

Saurabh Sachdeva (OCIMF), Iman Hill (IOGP), Olav Skar (IOGP) and Karen Davis (OCIMF) 

Last month OCIMF leaders met with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) for the first time since COVID restrictions were lifted, and agreed to work more closely together in the offshore space.

Managing Director Karen Davis and Publications and Advocacy Director Saurabh Sachdeva visited the IOGP’s London office to meet their Executive Director, Iman Hill and HSE Director, Olav Skar. They agreed to explore joint work to address issues such as offshore lifeboat safety, management of risks and incidents offshore, seismic and diving vessel operations. Potential collaboration was also considered on the emerging risks linked to safe management of offshore renewables and associated standards of operations.

OCIMF delegation visits US inland barging sector

Left to right: Ajay Gour and Ton Mol (OCIMF), Alex van Dusen and Ian Wolfarth (Chevron) and Saurabh Sachdeva (OCIMF)

An OCIMF delegation attended the American Waterway Operators Safety Conference in Chicago, US, in August. OCIMF delivered a session on inland barging, its importance to US maritime trade, and ensuring that safety, compliance and environmental protection are at the heart of inspections and technical standards.

There was space to discuss human factors and their prominence in OCIMF’s activities, and OCIMF gave a presentation outlining its current structure. There was a high level of interaction and positive feedback, with many useful discussions. OCIMF was also invited to join a meeting with third party organisations, along with representatives of the US Coast Guard, to discuss the new inspection regime for towing vessels.

As well as attending the conference, the OCIMF delegation – Publications and Advocacy Director Saurabh Sachdeva, Barge Adviser Ton Mol and Inspection and Accreditation Manager Ajay Gour – visited BP offices in Chicago, followed by a visit to a barge and a tugboat, Billy Ruth, where they witnessed first-hand the high professional standards on display in the US barging industry. They rounded off the week with a visit to a chemical terminal.

For more information, contact Ton Mol, Barge Adviser, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Industry safety news

Two important safety notices have been issued recently, which are relevant to OCIMF's members and other industry stakeholders.

The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) has issued a Formal Safety Notice on Recommended actions to prevent LNG leakages from Dry-Disconnect/Connect Couplings (DD-CC) hose bunkering/transfer system connections. (Gas fuelled vessel manifolds).

See the Safety Notice here. For further queries, contact SGMF at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Bahamas Maritime Authority has issued a safety alert on the Safe Handling of Condemned Fire Extinguishers. This follows an incident in which a crew member died from injuries sustained. 

The safety notice can be read here.

Captain Charles Abbott, 1957–2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of Captain Charles “Chuck” Abbott on 16 August 2022. Chuck was a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.

Chuck operated his own maritime safety and inspections business, Seatech Marine Services. He had been a key member of the OCIMF inspector fraternity in the US since 2008, having performed over 1,000 SIRE inspections.

Chuck was always willing to pass on his knowledge and experience. He was passionate about safety in the shipping industry. This was apparent during his inspections, his audits of other inspectors and of new inspector candidates. OCIMF, and especially members of the inland barging community in the US, will greatly miss his experience, warm personality and professional enthusiasm.

OCIMF conveys its deepest condolences to Captain Abbott’s family.

Meeting reports

Engine Power Limitation Working Group

One of OCIMF’s environmental goals is to produce an information paper on the risks associated with shaft/engine power limitations.

The Engine Power Limitation Working Group met virtually for the first time on 31 August to begin this important task. The group comprises subject-matter experts from different industry organisations, including OCIMF, INTERTANKO, International Chamber of Shipping, International Association of Classification Societies, International Marine Purchasing Association and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.

This information paper will address the health, safety and environmental risks and associated best practices for reduced engine power due to energy efficiency regulations and regional speed reduction schemes. These will include but are not limited to the following threats:

  • The effects of adverse and extreme sea and weather conditions.
  • Master/Officer/Pilot/Mooring Master lacking familiarity with the impact of reduced power on manoeuvrability, especially in restricted or congested waters.
  • Master’s lack of familiarity with how to unlock reserve power.
  • The effects of continuous operation of equipment outside of its design criteria.
  • The effects of tides or currents in restricted waters.
  • Ice navigation.
  • Vessel’s ability to maintain adequate speed during a piracy attack or when routinely transiting high security risk areas.

The next meeting of EPL WG will be in London on 28 September.

For enquiries, contact Filipe Santana, OCIMF Engineering Adviser This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..