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NAV 57; CMG joins Nautical Institute’s IMO delegation in London

June 6-10 2011 London:

Captain Kevin Coulombe & John Carlisle join Nautical Institute's IMO delegation at NAV 57

Carlisle Maritime Group’s (CMG) director, John Carlisle was honored to join the Nautical Institute’s (NI) delegation at the IMO’s Sub Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV 57) . The Nautical Institute with consultative status, and as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), provides professional mariners a stronger voice in the UN agency.

With deep felt respect, CMG thanks the Nautical Institute’s IMO delegation and most notably, Captain John M. Dickinson (Head of Delegation) for the opportunity to join in NI’s instrumental efforts. Captain Dickinson explained that a central effort of NI is to, “intervene on behalf of the mariner’s quality-of-life and human element issues and generally, leave the politics of decision-by-committee up to others.”

The Secretary-General, Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos opened the week-long meetings by recognizing the extreme difficulties Japan has been facing due to the recent earthquakes and tsunamis that crippled portions of Japan. The Secretary-General’s thoughtful address to the sub-committee can be seen in its entirety at

NAV 57 Plenary in the Main Meeting Hall of IMO

NAV 57’s agenda items included:
• Routeing of ships
• Amendments to Performance Standards of VDR and S-VDR
• Development of an e-navigation strategy implementation plan
• Review of Vague Expressions in SOLAS Regulation V/22
• Development of policy and new symbols for AIS aids to navigation (Virtual ATON)
• Development of an Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission

NI had (5) members in its delegation. Captain Kevin Coulombe, FNI attended the Routeing of Ships working group in which Captain Coulombe intervened by contributing to the formulations of new and existing Traffic Separation Schemes and, the establishment and re-considerations of new and existing Areas to be Avoided (ATBA).

The E-Navigation working group was attended by NI’s David Patraiko, who contributed interventions centered on human element issues and developments that will directly impact the Officer of the Watch (OOW). E-Navigation, it was seen by all delegations, is a critical watershed subject that requires intensive input and scrutiny. Delegations agreed that continued emphasis on classic mariner navigation versus electronic navigation is a delicate balancing act, and that safety of navigation shall remain firstly, a human skill supported by e-navigation.

IHO announced that an ECDIS “Test Card” of sorts will electronically be sent to all shipping companies, whereby users can test the ECDIS units aboard ship to determine if the units are meeting Performance Standards; IHO reminded the sub-committee that users failing to regularly update ECDIS software aboard ship, is causing serious safety of navigation concerns.

Virtual Aids to navigation (V-ATON); the institute’s Head of Delegation Captains John M. Dickinson and Harry Gale intervened during plenary and contributed the opinion that Japan’s Working Paper symbols graphics, too closely resemble existing paper chart symbols and therefore, (NI) could not fully support Japan’s proposed V-ATON symbols scheme; most member delegations agreed that another V-ATON symbols scheme is desirable, and will be considered again in the next session of the sub-committee and or sooner in other committees/sub-committees.

CMG looks forward to continued involvement with The Nautical Institute and its efforts at the IMO.