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IMDG (Dangerous Goods) Training and Certification for Workboats.

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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

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.

Member Profile: Frederik van der Linde, Damen Shipyards

Damen Shipyards are one of the Workboat Association’s longest corporate supporters, UK sales manager ‘Frederik van der Linde’ tells us about his role and interest in the maritime industry.


Who are Damen and what does your daily role include?

Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Quite a mouthful!

The North Sea workboat market is of great importance to Damen. In the last 12 months or so we sold around 15 vessels to UK clients adding to a total of more than 300. These vessels are of a wide range of maritime sectors, including dredging, offshore, towage, aquaculture and coastal operations; meaning my role as UK Sales Manager is very exciting!

My goal is to help clients with their operational needs. Obviously I’m focusing on new built vessels but I’m also a point of contact who can guide clients within the Damen organisation. Supporting in second hand tonnage, charter opportunities, services, spare parts. Basically everything which is related to shipbuilding and operating vessels. We as Damen do a lot and it’s my task to explore opportunities in the UK.


What attracted you to a career in the maritime world?

I’m born and raised in Gorinchem in Holland (where the Damen HQ is located), family holidays were mostly on the family owned Tjalk; a traditional flat-bottomed, Dutch sailing ship. The house I grew up in was next to the busy Merwede River. My family works in the maritime industry as well. We talk about boats a lot. Perhaps this was one of the reasons to start a study in economics instead of naval architecture or anything directly related to the maritime industry. To complete my study in 2011, I worked for 6 months at a repair yard in Barcelona (MB’92). They are specialised to maintain, repair and convert superyachts. It was there that I decided to start my professional career in the maritime industry.


Why Damen?

As I was born and raised in Gorinchem, it was a relatively easy choice to contact Damen first. Moreover, Damen is such big company offering so many opportunities to their employees and therefore a great learning school. I enjoy working for Damen every day.


Are you looking to expand your career with Damen?

Yes, actually I’m currently writing my thesis about a concept design suitable for North Sea operations in the Oil & Gas industry. I started an evening study nearly 4 years ago to become a fully qualified Naval Architect. My aim is to finish this study before the years ends. Hopefully clients will benefit from this, by me being both commercially and technically skilled.


Is there any part of the workboat industry or a vessel type that you really like the most?

That’s a difficult question as there are so many workboats within the Damen portfolio. I like the Damen Hardinxveld portfolio. Vessels like Shoalbusters, MultiCats and one-off projects. Strong and powerful workboats, suitable for a large variety of tasks.


Is there anything that the Workboat Association members could help you with?

I enjoy working with the UK market, so I hope this continues for many more years – the WA really helps me interact with this audience. I mostly enjoy the engagement and discussions which help me really understand what the market is looking for and where the trends appear to be moving.


Will we see you at this year’s AGM?


Long Serving Chairman of the Association receives Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service

Mark Meade, long-serving Chairman of the Workboat Association up to 2019 – has been awarded a Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service.

The list has been published today (Merchant Navy Day) to honour those who have served, or are serving, in the Merchant Navy or Fishing Fleets of the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, who have shown devotion to duty and exemplary service which has been of particular value and has constituted an outstanding example to others.”

Along with Mark Meade (listed as Captain J Meade), another person receiving the award you may be aware of is the long-serving Chairman of the International Jack-up Barge Operators Association (IJUBOA) John Howard, who has often sat beside us at many seminars, working groups and industry engagements.

The Workboat Association thank Mark for his long, tireless and continued work to make the Association what it is today. We wish Mark, John and all the other receivers of the MNM today a happy and appreciated Merchant Navy Day!

See here for the Honours List 2019, and here for the Nomination Requirements; merchant-navy-medal-nominations-guidance

Member Profile: Allan Gray Marsh, Allmar Marine Services

One of the new Individual Members; Maritime Professional ‘Allan Gray Marsh’ takes a look back at his career and informs us what Allmar Marine Services has to offer.


Can you remember your first time on a boat?

My first experience on a boat was in Charlestown, a small village on the North coast of the river Forth, about four miles upstream from Rosyth. There was a breakers yard there with two submarines and about a dozen deep sea steam trawlers. My friend and I would cycle from Dunfermline and sneak through the fence to explore the boats as much as we could before the watchman became aware of our presence and chased us!.

The first boat I sailed on was a rowing boat during my pre-sea training onboard the TS Dolphin in East Old Dock, Leith. All cadets had to learn to skull (using a single oar over the stern) and it was a race to see who would be allowed to take the boat on his own. We had to recite the compass points, in quarters forwards and backwards after which we were awarded our compass badge and allowed to take the skull boat on our own.


Where did your professional maritime career start?

I was apprenticed to Furness, Withy & Company Limited, and as I write, I glanced up to where my indentures hang on the wall of my study. I was one of the last apprentices, the following year 1965, saw the introduction of cadets. I served on general cargo ships, partial refrigerated ships and a tanker and travelled to the East and West Coasts of America, North and South, as well as the Arabian Gulf, Africa and Europe. My second voyage was through the worst storm of the century in the North Atlantic, and recorded in my apprentice journal.


What maritime roles have you completed in your career? Where there any highlights?

I gained my master’s certificate in 1979 and was promoted master on chemical and gas tankers the next year. I was made redundant in 1984 which seemed to be the beginning of the end of the UK merchant fleet. I found a job as a surveyor and consultant in London investigating personal accident and cargo claims. It was a time when crude oil mysteriously converted to salt water during the voyage!!! This lasted 18months or so, when the business folded, however my employer very kindly suggested I work from home and passed over a few clients. I was awarded a contract by the MOD to carry out biennial surveys on sea cadet boats based in the north of England and Scotland. This was in fact my introduction to quality management. I was advised that as a prime contractor to MOD I had to obtain AQAP 1 quality status ( actually not possible for a small business). I worked with the Centre of Advanced Maritime Studies and wrote and delivered the first training courses for Port State Control for IMO, I also conducted some of the first pre charter inspections for Exxon Chemicals, now incorporated in the SWIRE inspections. I published a monograph for the nautical institute on Quality Management in Shipping. All before ISM.

Between 1993 and 2001 I worked in ship management. With Serco Denholm I led the team who brought the Clyde fleet of 26 vessels into civilian control and the jurisdiction of the MCA, as well as introduce the ISM Code. The boats were predominantly workboats and tugs and although most were below convention size, we believed best practice was to include the whole fleet and in a practical sense operating to a single standard was just simpler.

In 2002 I joined the MCA as a surveyor in the Enforcement Unit and between then and 2018, investigated all significant marine accidents in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Almost 800, of which around two thirds involved fishing boats and workboats. There were many deaths, which I found quite difficult, and the aftermath of those accidents was traumatising for everyone involved. Accident Investigation is retrospective by nature and as you piece together the evidence the story gradually unfolds until you have a clear idea of what happened and who, if anyone, was responsible. There is usually a sequence of events, the elimination of any one of these may result in the accident not happening. In every case, had there been a robust safety system in place, it may have identified any, or all, of the elements leading to the accident and if action had been taken, the accident may not have occurred. Most major incidents were the result of systemic failure both by management on the ship and ashore.


What have you observed of the Workboat industry during your time as an industry stakeholder?

It was quite clear in the early days that the legislation was well behind what each fleet needed, but more importantly the training for Workboat Seafarers was and still sometimes remains poor. When I began my career everyone who went to sea did three months pre-sea training regardless of rank or department. Now all you need is a <1 week basic training course.

Work boat crews have the same responsibilities as their deep sea counterparts, but significantly less training. Very recently requirements for safety management systems have been introduced. Big groans, I know, but a good system is not so difficult to achieve. Offshore supply boats once held the reputation of the most dangerous job, but today their safety record is second to none.

The Scottish Fisherman’s Federation has taken the bull by the horns and introduced the “safetyfolder” to help fishermen from single boat operation to small fleet operations comply with the legislation. Its free and simple to operate! Short on training if I’m honest, but the concept is great.

Workboats are much more complex. The industry has increased exponentially over the past ten years. It is often at the forefront of technology and certainly ahead of the legislature. The operations they undertake range from simple logistics to heavy lift. They transport passengers and have to transfer them through a range of tide and weather conditions. There is an ever increasing range of products, including hazardous products which they transport. They are involved in windfarms and tidal generation schemes. In short it’s a very exciting place to be.


Currently you work under the name ‘ALLMAR Marine Services’, what services you offer?

I retired in 2018, and formed Allmar Marine Services. After a lifetime’s work its not easy to just stop so I was looking for a way to gradually slow down over the next few years. Some folks I had met over the years asked me to help develop their safety systems to comply with the legislation which has recently been introduced and to train staff in auditing etc.. I’ve also been involved in operational safety training and developing training courses in workboat stability and the Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser.


What is your operational area and typical client?

My client base extends from Scrabster to the Clyde and includes workboat and fishing boat owners with up to six vessels.


You recently joined the Workboat Association when we announced the new membership category ‘Individual Corporate Member’ last month, what was your   interest to join the Association?

I have been aware of the Workboat Association and the work it does for quite some time, it was only recently I learned that they accepted members who did not own or operate boats, but never the less were stakeholders in the industry. It was an easy decision to apply for membership. I’m looking forward to meeting members, particularly in the safety forums, where I hope that I may share some of the insights that I’ve gained over a lifetime in shipping.


Do you have any advice you could share to those looking to expand their careers in the maritime industry?

When I started my career the UK merchant fleet was one of the largest in the world. Today it is one of the smallest. The Workboat industry was quite small, tugs, barges, dredgers and beach launched pleasure boats.  This has all reversed!

There are 12 passenger cruise boats, multi cats with 50 tonnes cranes, high speed catamaran passenger/transport boats, fish farm and wind farm service craft in addition to the more conventional boats.

The Workboat sector is growing in size, complexity and technical innovation. It demands higher skill sets and promises great rewards for those who are prepared to work hard, work flexibly and find solutions to the problems that have to be overcome. You can have a career at sea, but combine it with a family life in a way you simply couldn’t before. Todays challenges are in Artificial Intelligence and new fuel technology, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

How to obtain a Master <500gt Near Coastal CoC

This summer (2019) saw completion of an agreement made between the German and British flag states (BG Verkehr – MCA) to accept UK issued Master <500gt near coastal CoC’s in German waters, but the question on many people lips is; “How do I get one?!” 


This interactive Powerpoint tool should explain all, Obtaining a Master 500gt Near Coastal CoC

  • Simply click on the link above to download the presentation (221kb)
  • If asked for a password – select “read only
  • The tool will only work if you click “view slide show” or “F5” on your keyboard.

If you have completed all the necessary seatime and certification, you must return your CoC to the MCA for updating. This service can be requested via the contact information provided in the presentation.

The NWA becomes: The Workboat Association

August 1st 2019

Originally formed in 1994 to facilitate an industry input into the formulation of the ‘Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s’ Workboat Code of Practice the (NWA) has changed its name during its Silver Anniversary year to purely “The Workboat Association” in order to correctly associate with its current form, scope and objectives.

In its 25th year of providing to a growing industry’s needs, today in 2019 The Workboat Association’s current membership now incorporates workboat Owners, Operators, Stakeholders and independent Professionals from both in and outside of the UK. Remaining a not-for-profit, membership funded/ owned association, the WA’s scope in its most recent form offers to industry stakeholders who are: Working in the UK, to UK regulations, or those simply aiming to benchmark their own standards of practice against a well adopted, respected and understood level – as the Workboat Association promote.

More information on the history and achievements of the Workboat Association can be found on the association website here;

The new logos .jpeg/.png can be downloaded here:

The safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods

The safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods on [UK] workboats

Following a presentation from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency at a Workboat Association run Offshore Wind focused ‘Open’ Safety Forum it was discovered that the correct responsibilities and general awareness surrounding the Carriage of Dangerous Goods onboard Workboats was not completely understood.

It was devised that a campaign be initiated in order to bring to the attention of crew and passengers some of the key and often misunderstood areas of compliance in regards to the IMDG code. Supported by the MCA, Operators, Clients and Stakeholders we aim that this campaign be promulgated onboard all workboats of which are likely to come into direct contact with DG, the Poster for application in the common area onboard and the Sticker for application close to the boarding area or main entrance to the superstructure. In addition to placements onboard, it is advised that Operators engage with Clients and when applicable post copies in the assembly areas of shore based offices or warehouses to forewarn Technicians before they prepare for embarkation.

The intended use for this signage is to be used as a tool of reference during onboard safety briefings or inductions and as a warning sign to all those coming onboard of their responsibilities to declare DG. It is also a quick visual reminder of what ‘common products’ constitute DG.

Both the Sticker and Poster come as a set, and (whilst initial quantities remain in stock) are free of charge – as bringing the campaign to its published format comes gratefully sponsored by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

“When I first heard about the campaign, through the Workboat Association’s Safety Forum, I knew it was something that we at SGRE are very focused on when acquiring logistics partners.  – We hope that the understanding of the responsibilities and correct practises regarding the Carriage and Handling of Dangerous Goods at Sea will be greatly increased thanks to the campaign.”   – Steve Myers, Marine Asset Manager, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

To request your copies of the Poster and Sticker pack, please contact the Workboat Association via:

For more information on the safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods on [UK] Workboats please visit:

IMDG Poster                          IMDG Sticker



Look twice before using a Gangway

Two important ‘access’ related promulgations published this week bolster Access Safety Awareness.

The heat is on (quite literally with this weather) and the Maritime Industry are actively working to improve in-port access, whether its on Workboats or not – eyes are open and brains are getting engaged. This week two important safety lessons have been published by both the Marine Safety Board and the ShipOwners Club, and both hit home a similar message;

“Think before you board”

You may be using a professional and well operated pontoon, ladder or gangway but the risks of slips, trips or falls can never be fully mitigated.

See here;


msf-safety-alert-19.10                       Loss-Prevention-Gangways_0719