Author: Kerrie Forster

Revisit: Understanding Fatigue

At Seawork 2018 the Workboat Association launched the ‘Understanding Fatigue’ safety poster which was developed in conjunction with the MCA and The Shipowners’ Club, to help crewmembers identify the signs of fatigue – both in themselves and in others – at sea.

Following the 2017 WA / Offshore Wind Safety Forum, where the issue of fatigue featured as a major point of concern and discussion, the WA spent the best part of a year researching and discussing this challenge with its members and the wider maritime community.

Particular thanks go to NWA Safety Forum Chair & Committee member Kerrie Forster, for his tireless work on this initiative.

The posters ‘designed to be displayed on all vessels, were distributed at WA events following the launch and ran until stocks dried up! But don’t worry, the posters are still electronically available for download here:

The campaign page can be viewed by members here:

For further information or access for non-members, please contact us via:

Further Reading:

2018-08-09 09:00:00.0

Member Profile: Mike Proudlove, Offshore Turbine Services

At what age did you first decide to take up a career in the Maritime Sector?

I grew up in Pembrokeshire, west Wales and started messing around in boats at an early age. After completing my first commercial yacht delivery while I was still at university, the idea of making a living while working on, or around, the sea was not so much a conscious decision, more a natural progression. A career in the maritime sector has allowed me to work in some beautiful places, such as Turkey, Vancouver Island and more recently Kaua’i.

How did your career progress prior to your current role?

Prior to working with CTVs, I worked as a vessel surveyor for ten years, first in the US and then the UK. As well as doing vessel inspections, I taught at the boatbuilding college in Milford Haven and worked with the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS) to develop the BTEC HND in Marine Surveying. I am still involved in surveyor training and education.

What is the history of Offshore Turbine Services?

Offshore Turbine Services was formed in 2011 by Nick Bright, Phil Collins and Robin Jones. Nick has a successful fishing business in the English Channel and North Sea, fishing for whelks and crabs. Nick was obviously aware of the growth in offshore renewables and he also had a large pool of skilled crew who were eager to try something different. Meanwhile, Phil and Robin were looking to invest in the renewables sector and the combination led to the formation of OTS. The commitment and unique selling point, right from the beginning, has been to run fuel-efficient vessels with a team of like-minded crew, motivated to reducing our environmental impact in all aspects of our business. This has remained our philosophy and, along with safety, remains our most important KPI.

Where are the Offshore Turbine Services fleet currently working?

Four of our vessels are currently in Germany and the other three are in the UK. As well as offshore renewables in the German Bight, over the last three years we have worked on some very interesting projects in the Baltic, including the construction of the first offshore wind farm in Finland.

Do you ever get involved in work outside of the Offshore Wind Sector?

Yes, for the last three years we have focussed as much on marine civils as we have on offshore renewables. All our vessels have water jets and their shallow draft makes them well-suited to river and near-shore work, such as supporting dredging and pipeline projects. We had three vessels working on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline last year and we are currently working on the Elbe Deepening project. These are exciting projects with innovative partners and they present plenty of new challenges for our team.

How do you see the future for the Workboat industry and how do you think the WA can help its members further?

Workboat operators in Northern Europe have modernised their fleets and greatly improved standards and safety on board over the last twenty years. This has required a huge effort, both in personal commitment and financial terms and it has been led by a number of well-known Workboat Association members. I believe we are going to need to make a similar commitment of time and probably even more resources, to reduce C02 emissions across the workboat industry. We [operators] will need to lobby government departments for assistance, spend money on R&D, develop new fuels, purchase new equipment and in some cases even completely new vessels. This comes at a time of tight margins for all workboat operators, whether it is due to the pricing pressures in offshore renewables and marine civils, or simply because world economic growth has been sluggish over the last ten years. The Workboat Association is in a unique position to coordinate this transformation. It can assist with the necessary new legislation and standards and help to minimise the duplication of effort in our goal to first reduce engine emissions and ultimately, eliminate C02 emissions.

Code of Safe Working Practices: 2019

Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers: 2019 Amendment

MIN 601

“This Marine Information Note provides information about the 2019 amendments to the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (“the Code”). The Code deals with the regulatory framework and provides best practice guidance for health and safety on board ship. It also gives guidance on safety management and identifies statutory duties underlying the advice and includes practical information for safe working on board.”

CoSWP (Soft copy)

This document includes the text and images from the code of safe working practices for merchant seafarers (COSWP) 2015 edition, 9780115534027, published on 4 September 2015, plus subsequent amendments 1 ,2, 3 & 4.

This document does not match the pagination of the published version, which is available for purchase from

IMDG (Dangerous Goods) Training and Certification for Workboats.

Feedback Survey


IMDG (Dangerous Goods) Training and Certification for Workboats.
Those involved in the transportation of Dangerous Goods at sea will know that training for those handling and working with Dangerous Goods cargo is mandatory for a vessel to receive and maintain its Dangerous Goods DoC.

Though unless Owners/ Operators provide inhouse training, there are few ‘off the shelf’ training packages that are relevant to the best practice, regulations and normalities associated with operations within the Workboat Industry.

The Workboat Association has discovered via its IMDG awareness campaign that more can be done to raise safety and understanding within this sector;
Please could you spare the time to complete this short questionnaire to aid us steering our IMDG workgroup.


Take the Survey here!


(Those interested to join our IMDG workgroup or find out more about the campaign
can contact Kerrie Forster on

Post Brexit Continuity for overseas UK coded vessel operations

Concerned about Brexit?

The Workboat Association has been working with the UK and key industry stakeholder country Governments to detail what life after Brexit may look like for UK ‘coded’ vessels working outside of UK domestic waters.

The following research document has been created: Post Brexit Overseas Continuity 2

UK Coded Workboats working in Belgium

This notice has been created together with the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate (BMI).

Dated 28.10.2019


The following allowances are accepted for UK coded Workboats operating in Belgian waters;

  • UK Coded Workboats are still permitted to work in Belgian waters, meanwhile the Belgian and UK governments will be in communication to discuss a possible agreement ensuring the continuity of operations following Brexit; separate to an EU deal.
  • Only ‘Classed’ vessels certified to IACS99 (see link) by a recognised RO are permitted to work in Belgian waters.
  • Single person operations are at no times permitted in Belgian waters.
  • The minimum Master CoC accepted in Belgian waters is a Commercially Endorsed Yacht Master Offshore.
  • Vessels planning to operate in Belgian waters should first inform the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate of their intentions prior to arrival via:

As of this date, the carriage of Industrial Personnel is not permitted at any times in Belgian waters – though, the BMI are currently strongly considering to make the necessary regulatory changes to allow for these operations to take place. Completion is aimed for 2020, the Workboat Association is in contact with the BMI and will work with them to keep members informed of any developments regarding this matter.

Member Profile: Scott Baker, Svitzer Marine


What is your current role at Svitzer and what does it include?

My title is Head of Marine Standards for Svitzer Europe. I am one of four Regional heads that manage a small team of experienced and professional mariners in support of safety, compliance and nautical matters for Svitzer. The role is both diverse and challenging – it’s an ‘all four seasons in one day’ role that can see me working on exciting, high-level initiatives such as Maersk’s ‘Safety Differently’ cultural change programme down to the application of a very specific element of the regulations in any one of the many different countries we operate in; no one day is ever the same.


When did you start with Svitzer and what role did you originally fulfil?

I joined Svitzer at the end of August 2016 as Head of Marine Standards so I’m still in the same role, however, that is not a bad thing. The role has evolved over time and has adapted to emerging challenges. In truth, as with many modern day roles, it takes some time to ‘get into it’ and then there is something about remaining in role for a period of time; I feel it’s important to build enduring relationships with both the management teams and the afloat teams.


Where did your interest with the sea start?

I started sailing during 1994 while I was employed as a fire fighter in the Royal Air Force. My first experience was a delivery voyage of a Nicholson 55 from the Azores back to the UK in the tail-end of a big Atlantic storm. I got the bug straight away and realised I wanted to progress a career at sea. I spent the remainder of my time in the RAF getting my RYA qualifications and started a cadetship two years later when my when my engagement with the armed forces terminated.


Can you remember your first commercial experience?

Throughout my early sea-going career, like most people, I have encountered varying degrees of commercial exposure, but this was nothing compared to one of my roles while working for Serco. I moved from a compliance based role into an Account Director position responsible for the managements of several different shipping entities. At this point, service delivery and stakeholder management became everything.


What interests and hobbies do you have outside of Svitzer?

I am married with two daughters and a dog, that pretty much occupies my spare time. I enjoy sailing and diving whenever I get the chance but more often I run (when I have the energy). At present, my two girls are enjoying a broad range of different sports and are doing quite well, consequently, my weekends are spent running them around the county to attend various training and competitions.


Do have any personal industry involvement elsewhere outside of the Workboat Association?

Over the years I have been a member of a number of different associations and institutes some of which I have recently become more involved with. I am a Standing member of the Nautical Institute Council and Technical Committee and I am involved with the Royal Yachting Association’s senior policy making committee. I am the vice-chair and executive committee member of the British Tugowner’s Association.


What do you believe will be the upcoming challenges for the industry?


Since my arrival at Svitzer a little over three years ago, the commercial landscape has changed beyond recognition. Tugs, as a well as other in-port service providers has inevitably felt the effect of regional and global market forces as the larger carriers seek cost efficiencies to remain competitive in an increasingly challenging financial environment. It is a challenge for the industry and particular to an operator like Svitzer aiming for the highest safety standards to get the market to recognise that safety is not a given and that it takes commitment and hard work to ensure that standards are kept high to avoid a detrimental effect to the safe operation of the vessels.

The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme

The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme


The Workboat Association is recognised as an issuing authority by the MCA for the issuance of Voluntary Towage Endorsements (VTE) based upon specifications outlined in MGN 468.  The purpose of this endorsement is to confirm the seafarer’s specific knowledge, understanding and proficiency needed to safely operate in this area of the maritime industry. The VTE will assist employers and port & harbour authorities conducting risk assessments of towage operations and developing safe systems of work as required by the Port Marine Safety Code.

The VTE scheme was introduced in 2013 (alongside MGN 468). MGN 468 outlines the qualifying conditions required for a seafarer to obtain a VTE and the required competence standard for the various VTEs. The MGN also outlines in section 5 the oversight requirements of a VTE issuing body.

Access to information

Free public access to VTE related information including; MGN 468, VTE TRB, VTE application form, VTE pricing list and the VTE procedure are available on the Workboat Association website


The Candidate is to obtain a VTE Training Record Book (TRB) via download from the Workboat Association website

Once the relevant sections of the TRB have been successfully completed, it is to be countersigned by a witnessing Master or Marine Superintendent.  The Candidate or their Employer is to obtain and complete a VTE application form from the Workboat Association website

The completed application form shall be sent to Upon receipt of an application form the Workboat Association will arrange with the Candidate and their Employer for a suitable Assessor and Assessment date, and raise an invoice for the assessment.

After the Assessment has been completed and the funds have been paid, the Workboat Association will either award a Voluntary Towing Endorsement Certificate or arrange for a re-assessment depending on the assessments result.


Prior to the examination taking place the nominated Assessor will review the Candidates TRB to ensure that they hold the relevant experience and knowledge to sit the exam. If the TRB has not been completed fully, the examination will not be permitted to proceed.

The Candidate is required to provide photo ID to the Assessor prior to the examination commencing, the ID will be witnessed and noted for its validity though no copy of the ID or details besides the type of document supplied shall be recorded.

Award of the Voluntary Towing Endorsement

Once the examination has been completed the finalised assessment report is forwarded by the Assessor for attention of the CEO (In soft copy direct to, in hard copy via the Association administration address) to be officially confirmed. Any received completed assessment reports will be recorded for later reference should there be a dispute or other such event.

The VTE Certificate is issued by the Association once the seafarer has completed the relevant Training Record Book (Inspected and confirmed by the Assessor), successfully completed the relevant onboard oral/practical assessment, the funds for both the application and assessment have been received and any Assessor travel expenses have been settled directly by the candidate with the Assessor.

The certificates will be created and distributed on behalf of the Chief Executive via the Association Administration.

For more information, contact the Workboat Association here

The latest Brexit preparation news (Oct 19)

The UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019

You are receiving this email from the Department for International Trade (DIT) because we support businesses to trade internationally.

If you are a UK business that imports and/or exports, you will need to act now to prepare for the changes that will affect your trading with Europe and the rest of the world.

Businesses are taking action and by following some simple steps, you can better prepare your business for Brexit.

You should check the latest guidance and steps to:

Further information and key actions for UK businesses in a no-deal Brexit:
Further information and key actions for UK importers of goods in a no-deal Brexit:

The Government is holding events to help your business get ready for Brexit. Sign up to:

Keep up-to-date on Brexit and get tailored guidance:

Sign up for alerts (regular Brexit updates) on subjects including the Article 50 process, trade negotiations, and announcements about changes to trading.

Get detailed information and tailored guidance on Brexit by answering a few questions at If you can’t find the answers to your questions contact the imports and exports helpline.

If your business imports and/or exports, you will need to act now to prepare for the changes that will affect trading with Europe and the rest of the world after Brexit.

By familiarising yourself with the detailed and wide-ranging Brexit guidance available on, your business can better understand how to prepare for Brexit.

Check the latest guidance and steps on:

Get tailored guidance and stay up-to-date:

UK businesses in a no-deal Brexit will need to take the following key actions:

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Register for a Government event to help your business get ready for Brexit: