Southampton, 8th January 2018 – Norman Finlay, a highly respected marine surveyor and the founder of the National Workboat Association (NWA), has been awarded an MBE for ‘Services to UK Shipping’. Following the Lifetime Achievement award presented to Mr Finlay at Seawork in 2013, this MBE is further recognition of the dedication and commitment he has shown, throughout a long and illustrious career, to the maritime and workboat industries.
Following a career at sea and then as Superintendent of a dredger fleet, Mr Finlay became involved with workboats early in his career, and went on to become one of the main driving forces behind the establishment and development of the UK Workboat sector of the Merchant Navy in the 1970s, playing his part in the rapid development of the industry and in the technical advancements made.
He has continued to work in the industry ever since, and was the key player in the development of the original Workboat Code with the MCA (then the MSA) in the early 1990s, having persuaded the MCA that the industry needed better recognition and suitable standards to be set. This code acts as the recognised Technical Standard for UK workboats and has formed the basis for numerous international codes across multiple maritime sectors.
Mr Finlay’s service to the maritime industries is nowhere more evident than in the establishment of the NWA, which he founded in 1994 by persuading key workboat operators that they should join forces and work with the MCA to develop appropriate standards, subsequently serving as the Association’s unpaid Secretary and Spokesperson for almost 10 years.
When Mark Ranson, current Secretary of the NWA, took up the mantle as the first paid Secretary in 2011, Mr Finlay became the Life President of the Association, and has continued in his dedicated support of the NWA and its members ever since.
Mark Ranson commented: “Norman has been the ideal tutor for me as I learned the details of this vibrant, growing sector of the Merchant Navy, and is a constant inspiration. It is one of his hallmarks that – no matter how busy he is – he will always make time for anyone with a query or potential problem on any aspect of Workboat operations. The workboat industry owes Norman an enormous debt, and I am delighted to see this recognition of his continuing work.’
Members of the NWA, which represents workboat operators nationwide, are delighted with the recognition of such a respected figure who is held in great affection by them all.
Jenny Vines, Small Commercial Vessel Policy Manager at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “Norman has worked with the MCA in many of its different guises, and all of us here recognise his passion for, and dedication to the success of, the workboat sector. We are delighted that his extraordinary contribution has been recognised, and we at the MCA are very happy to have been a part of making this happen.”
The New Year’s Honours list is announced annually and recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.