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Director’s Log

OCIMF members managed to fit a great deal into the 31 days of March, the month that opened the committee round for the first half of the year.

Working groups met to progress the simplification and standardisation of Navigation Assessments, production of the third edition of the Tanker Management Self Assessment (TMSA), and the best practice advice on hardening ships against attacks from pirates and armed robbers.

The Maritime Security sub-committee held its inaugural meeting in preparation for reports to the General Purposes Committee (GPC). The GPC met in London and hosted the European Regional Panel which was once again well attended. The Offshore Marine Committee also met in Dubai and hosted the Middle East and Africa Regional Panel meeting.

At IMO OCIMF represented members at the Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue Sub-committee and the Ship Systems and Equipment Sub-committee.

It was also super to interact with our Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) inspectors as a new inspector course was held in Singapore and a refresher course for established inspectors was held in London where the opportunity was taken to run two Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) training courses for inspectors. The courses were timely as it is always useful to receive feedback from the inspectors particularly after the recent launch of the updated Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (VIQ) editor software. The SIRE team was also put through their paces during a members audit in preparation for ISO renewal. Our thanks to colleagues in Shell for conducting a very thorough audit.

At the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre within the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG) in Ghana we welcomed a new Merchant Navy Liaison Officer (MNLO), Captain Nelson Bourgon of ConocoPhillips. He arrived in time for the 2015 series of Obangame Expresss an exercise organised by the United States Navy Africa Command promoting cooperation between the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea in combating a broad range of criminal activity in these waters.

This week we also welcome Fabiano Dias to the OCIMF Secretariat joining our IT team as the IT Systems and Products Contract Manager.

Captain David Cotterell

OCIMF Regional Panels

OCIMF hosted the European Regional Panel meeting in London on 19 March.

There was a strong turnout for the morning plenary session with 70 members’ representatives attending.

Regional Champion Andrew Dogherty (BG) led the morning with a brief on the recent Regional Panels Champions meeting. He described some of the success and some of the challenges that the panels face. Some minor format changes were suggested which will be implemented in the near future.

General Purpose Committee (GPC) Chairman Pierre Decarpigny (Total) presented an update on GPC and GPC sub-committee activities and highlighted significant accomplishments and ongoing work.

Pierre opened the way for Steve Barker (Chevron) to present a progress report of the TMSA 3 work group. The group is working through the elements one by one. The goal is a more universal and user-friendly document that eliminates current duplication and incorporates new industry best practice. The work group is aggressively pushing towards a year end completion date making publication a 2016 target.

Mr. Dogherty tied his theme of competency into the timely subject of the “Human Element” as he introduced the guest speaker Tim Crowch. The author of Navigating the Human Element, Tim has been involved in the Human Element since the 1980’s. He’s a passionate promoter and committed believer in the science behind it. Tim challenged the members to create environments that would allow for the success of our crews. His inspired commentary created a positive discussion in plenary and in the afternoon work sessions.

After the meeting Tim (pictured below) said, "It was a pleasure to be of assistance and as I said at the meeting, this is a truly hard but essential nut to crack. If any organization can make headway on this it will be OCIMF".

The next European Regional Panel meeting will be held in London on 15 October, 2015.

Andrew Dogherty, European Regional Champion

“I would like to thank all attendees and their member companies for their continued support of the European Regional Panel, and in particular for making ERP#03 our first full house.

Having a good turnout however still requires the participation of all attendees to make the meeting a success and in no small measure this was achieved, ably assisted by the thought provoking presentation provided by Tim Crowch. The topic of the “Human Element” is one the marine sector is increasingly engaging in, and it is very useful for us as OCIMF members to get insight from the airline industry where it has been a high profile issue for many years, and to learn from a practitioner who has straddled both maritime and aviation industry sectors. The energy from the morning transferred well into the p.m. work stream sessions, which were again well attended and produced active discussions.

“I look forward to ERP#04 on 15 October 2015 where I anticipate similar levels of support, and where (subject to ExCom approval) we will be rolling out further enhancements to the Regional Panel format which will further improve the interaction of the ERP with the Principal Committees and the wider OCIMF membership.”

Marine Technical Sub-Committee

The Marine Technical sub-committee (MTSC) was hosted by Chevron in San Ramon California on February 24-26.

Ten members were represented at the thirtieth meeting of the MTSC. A full agenda kept the group busy for three days.

  • After significant activity the work group presented a final draft of Best Practice for Personnel Transfer by Crane. MTSC approved the document to be sent to GPC for review and a recommendation to publish.
  • A new work group reported on the first draft of A Practical Guide for Implementation of Exhaust Gas Scrubbers on Tankers.
  • A new work group will be formed to review existing industry standards and recommend an OCIMF acceptable standard for “semi-continuous” hoses used in ship-to-ship transfer.
  • In response to several reported incidents in the industry the sub-committee proposed to GPC that a work group be formed to review current best practices in the industry for maintaining appropriate spare parts on board to ensure safe and reliable operations. The GPC has accepted the proposal and MTSC will start work as a joint industry project with INTERTANKO.

If any members are interested in participating on one of the active work groups or would like to become a member of the MTSC they should send a request to

David Wall, Chairman of the MTSC was asked about how MTSC works; “Our role is to provide technical expertise to OCIMF and to support initiatives brought forward by the General Purposes Committee. In addition, as technical subject matter experts in our own organisations we actively monitor emerging industry issues, discuss them at our meetings and bring them to the attention of GPC for possible follow up action.”

The next meeting will take place in London at the OCIMF offices on 8-10 September. The meetings will be hosted by Shell.

Engineers can cook!

Left to Right -- Vice Chair Krystyna Tsochlas (P66), Keith Jones (BP), Chairman Dave Wall (Chevron) preparing a meal at the MTSC team building exercise hosted by Chevron in San Ramon, CA.

Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre within the Gulf of Guinea region

The Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre within the Gulf of Guinea region (MTISC-GoG) is extremely pleased to welcome the new Merchant Navy Liaison Officer (MNLO) – Captain Nelson Bourgon.

Capt Bourgon is seconded from ConocoPhillips and took up the role earlier this month. He will initially be working with the MTISC-GoG for a two month period.

March has also seen the departure of two Ghanaian Navy watchkeepers; Petty Officer Patrick Dogor and Leading Seaman Amos Nii Ayi Ankarah. MTISC-GoG is grateful for their contribution and wishes them well in their future careers. Their replacements, AB1 Kwaw Aaron Tsatsu and AB1 Ahiadome Jonathan also from the Ghana Navy joined MTISC-GoG at the end of March.

March has been a very busy month for the Centre with the build-up for and the exercise phase for Obangame Express 2015. During March the Centre has welcomed a number of important visitors including the new Vice Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University (Professor Nyarko), EU Ambassador to Ghana (Mr William Hanna) and the Spanish Ambassador to Ghana (Ambassador Ms. Alonso).

The hardware for the new Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) System has just started to arrive in the Centre and is currently being installed, as is an AIS receiver kindly donated by The US National Transportation Centre (Volpe) to assist in the Obangame Express series of exercises. The MTISC-GoG Team have also undergone training on the use of the new MDA system.

MTISC-GoG has been taking part in the Exercise Obangame Express 2015 during March. This has proven to be extremely useful training for MTISC-GoG as many of the team have not had any previous exposure to large multinational regional exercises.

SIRE Refresher course and ECDIS courses

A Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) refresher course was held in the OCIMF offices on the 23-24 March 2015 with a total of 25 attendees.

In addition, two back-to-back Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) courses immediately followed the SIRE refresher course. There were 19 attendees on each course, a total of 38.

To date this year a total of 78 inspectors have completed this course, and the programme is on schedule to get 200 inspectors through the course by the end of 2015.

SIRE New Inspector Course

A SIRE New Inspector course was held in the Orchard Parade Hotel in Singapore from the 2-6 March 2015. A total of 14 attendees were present, 12 of whom went for accreditation and 2 observers.

Maritime Security Sub Committee

The OCIMF Maritime Security Sub Committee (MSSC), approved at GPC 79, held their inaugural meeting on 11 March 2015 in London.

11 member companies have provided experts to work in the group and set the security agenda for the future. The group has incorporated the work of the Piracy Focus Group (PFG) into a broader portfolio of maritime security related activities and areas of interest to the membership. The Chair of the PFG, Andrias Smith (BP) will continue in the role until the summer when David Bancroft (Chevron) will take the reins. David will be assisted by Hugo Blom (Shell) as the Assistant Chair. The emphasis of the group will be reactive to the needs of OCIMF members and proactive to influence emerging polices eg: influencing discussion on the Indian Ocean High Risk Area and the future of Best Management Practise.

Any OCIMF member who would like to have representation on the MSSC is invited to contact the secretary, Russell Pegg at

OCIMF eBooks now available on your iPad!

OCIMF eBooks have long been available for installation on PCs via the Witherby eBook Reader.

Users can now opt for the flexibility of purchasing and viewing eBooks on an iPad using the Witherby Reader, available from the App Store.

Once you have the App you can then go to purchase the eBooks you want.