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Get the latest news and updates about our work and activities onshore and offshore, and hear from our spokespeople.

Remembrance Sunday 2021

Remembrance Sunday 2021

On Sunday 14th November, Carla Rockson, Head of Seafarer Learning and Welfare attended the Honourable Company of Master Mariners service for Royal Navy and Merchant Navy seafarers to commemorate Remembrance Sunday at the beautiful Trinity Square Gardens in Tower Hill, London.

The service was well attended by all areas of the maritime sector to give thanks to those who lost their lives in battle on land and at sea.

Wreaths were laid to pay respect to those who have fallen and recognition was given to those who serve today. 

Carla paid her respects by laying a wreath on behalf of Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

RRS Sir David Attenborough moors in Greenwich before research mission to Antarctica

RRS Sir David Attenborough moors in Greenwich before research mission to Antarctica

The UK’s newest polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough paid Greenwich a visit as part of the three day Ice Worlds Festival – an insight into life and work in Antarctica and the Arctic.

The vessel – that was almost named Boaty McBoatface due to public demand – will shortly embark on its first  journey to Antarctica. The vessel visited London in support of the vitally important UN Climate Change Conference COP26.

The exhibition showcased the wondrous possibilities that environmental science, engineering and technology could conjure, with opportunities to meet real life scientists and explorers and gain an understanding of what innovative methods are being used to uncover the oceans secrets.

Marine Society’s affiliation with the RRS Sir David Attenborough lays within its library, with the charity hosting the vessel’s paperback library – one of five paperback libraries that Marine Society is responsible for.

The charity has been dispatching physical books since carrying out their first library service for SS Aenaeas back in 1920


The charity’s books and libraries manager, Lenka Pospisil, was in attendance for the exhibition and got a great view of the ship before it leaves London.

The vessel has been docked in Greenwich since October 27th and the vigorous process of stocking the ship with cargo for the five Antarctic research stations as well as spare parts for the vessel and consumables for the duration of the mission has begun.

The ship will set off for the southernmost continent later this month.

What did Marine Society do during London International Shipping Week 2021?

What did Marine Society do during London International Shipping Week 2021?

This September, the maritime industry once again celebrated London International Shipping Week. This biannual event gives maritime institutions the opportunity to share, promote and collaborate with stakeholders, clients and potential customers.

This year felt extra special as the week of events allowed the maritime community to once again engage in face to face contact after a long and frustrating period of virtual handshakes.

Marine Society looked to attract the next generation of seafarers and maritime professionals by exhibiting at Maritime UK’s careers and jobs fair on board the HQS Wellington, home of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners on the Thames,

The two day event targeted school age young people and adult jobseekers and was accessible both in person and via livestream with regular Q&A panels for those online. It was also a chance to network with other exhibitors and renew old acquaintances.

Marine society also co-presented at two other key events during the week. Its’ Coming Ashore programme was showcased at a Nautilus International event sponsored by Maritime London. Over 150 seafarers viewed the seminar and were able to post questions to a panel of industry professionals that included Steve Cameron, one of Marine Society’s Coming Ashore mentors.

The charity was also invited to present at an educational showcase hosted by Maritime UK in the impressive offices of Clarksons Platou. This provided a great opportunity to promote the new level 3 diploma in maritime studies that Marine Society developed and now delivers to prospective entrants to commercial shipping ashore. Again, a large online audience attended thanks to the video conferencing technology that has become ubiquitous since the pandemic.

The final event of the week was the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards held at Anfield, Liverpool. Marine Society’s very own Tom Saunders was shortlisted for apprentice of the year award although narrowly missed out to the Royal Navy candidate.

Marine Society form new shore-side collaboration with the Workboat Association

Marine Society form new shore-side collaboration with the Workboat Association

The Marine Society’s Coming Ashore programme has been a resounding success since its inception more than a year ago. The scheme takes seafarers in roles at sea and guides them through their transitional phase to a shore side role in the sector. As one of the oldest maritime charities in the UK providing education, training and financial assistance to seafarers, has built up a highly experienced cohort of mentors who will be paired with a plethora of mentees comprising a variety of backgrounds, skillsets and aspirations.

Elsewhere, the Workboat Association have created a new initiative titled the Norman Finlay Development Scheme, with the aim being to support talent development ashore within the Small Commercial Vessel (SCV) sector.

Norman Finlay MBE was to known to many as the ‘Grandfather’ of the Workboat industry. Following a career at sea and then as Superintendent of a dredger fleet, Norman 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.

Following his passing in August 2020, the industry came together to collectively find a way to honour his memory.

Kerrie Foster - a new mentor for the programme – believes Norman would be proud of the steps being taken to help seafarers:

"A well-skilled and knowledgeable workforce within the Small commercial vessel sector was one of Norman's passions, we are really excited to be a part of this fantastic scheme working with the Marine Society’s Coming Ashore programme, where we can utilise his example to benefit future careers in the sector".

  1. maritime institutions as well as numerous stakeholders have decided to unite to help reach the common goal of helping seafarers get the support and skills they need to transition to a shore side career in the maritime sector. Supporting and driving the Marine Society’s ‘Coming ashore’ programme, will give the scheme a larger presence and help attract and develop new skills tailored to the requirements of the Small Commercial Vessel industry.

Stakeholders include IIMS, Mecal, Mercator Media and the SCMS Benevolent Fund.

Together, following Norman’s example, we aim to ensure that the industry’s future is comprised of suitably experienced and nurtured professionals in all roles from Vessel Operators, to Surveyors / Inspectors, and Regulators.

New Apprentices Begin Training

New Apprentices Begin Training

A new cohort of Marine Society apprentices began their first residential training block in Plymouth this month. Six apprentices on Boatmaster, Workboat Crew or Port Operative apprenticeships are spending two weeks in Plymouth undertaking classroom and practical training with SeaRegs Training Ltd. For several of them, this is their first experience on a motorboat and they have already gained validated skills including the RYA Powerboat level 2 certificate. Jacob Loveless, aged 16 is our youngest apprentice. He successfully applied for an apprenticeship with Portland Harbour Port to train as a Boatmaster and his aim is to become a skipper operating RIB pleasure rides out of Weymouth. Jacob’s years spent in the Sea Cadets has given him a head start in terms of the skills and knowledge he is gaining.

Apprenticeships last 12 months for Port Operatives and up to 24 months for Boatmaster or Crewmember. A total of 33 Marine Society apprentices across all Standards are now at various stages within their programme with the first Boatmasters due to complete this autumn.