Latest News

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

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.

Marine Society apprentice shortlisted as a finalist for Mersey Maritime Apprentice of the Year award

Marine Society apprentice shortlisted as a finalist for Mersey Maritime Apprentice of the Year award

We are delighted to announce that Tom Saunders, Marine Society’s Digital Marketer Apprentice, has been shortlisted as one of the final three nominees for the Maritime UK Apprentice of the Year award at the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2021 .

Tom has been with the Marine Society since September 2020 and has been a fantastic asset to the team, assisting with the charity’s marketing activities for the plethora of products and expanding his maritime knowledge in the process.

Tom will be featured in a promotional video, filmed at Mersey Maritime Headquarters in Birkenhead, after which one of the three finalists will be chosen as the winner and go on to an awards ceremony and dinner in Liverpool on Friday 17th September 2021.

The voting platform will go live later in July, giving (local, national and international industry) members the opportunity to vote for a winner.

Here is Tom's finalist video entry 

Marine Society Launch Three New Learn@Sea Courses

Marine Society Launch Three New Learn@Sea Courses

The Marine Society proudly launched three Learn@Sea courses on 6 July 2021 on board the HQS Wellington in London in front of a Covid-secure audience. Those present included beneficiaries, partners and funders.

Stability@Sea, Navigation@Sea and Navigation@Sea Plus have now been added to the Learn@Sea digital learning suite to make up 15 courses to date. These three new technical courses are all mapped to existing SQA maritime skills qualification units. So whether an aspiring or progressing seafarer is working towards an RYA Offshore Certificate, the MCA One Day Stability certificate or his/her first CoC, these courses can help develop the required knowledge.


Stability@Sea covers topics such as - how loading and unloading from a vessel will affect its stability and the draught it floats at, to the actions that can affect a vessel's ability to stay afloat and remain stable. There are also key formulae to use to calculate changes in flotation and stability. The way that the course has been written means that it is accessible both for a cadet or sixth form student right at the beginning of their maritime learning, with a section on the basic physics of floatation and stability, through to students wanting to prepare for higher level oral exams. It covers a range of vessel types and stability situations, including Merchant vessels, fishing vessels, towing and high speed rescue craft.

Navigation@Sea is suitable for anyone who does not have prior knowledge in this subject and it has been written in accordance with MSQ Unit 95 - Introduction to Navigation. The modules include Calculating depth of water, Use of tide tables & curves, chart projection and dead reckoning; traffic separation schemes as well as underlining the requirement under SOLAS chapter 5 for the proper appraisal, planning, execution and monitoring of a passage at sea

Navigation@Sea Plus offers a detailed understanding of the electronic navigation equipment found onboard merchant and small commercial vessels. It is designed for learners to receive a detailed understanding of the passage planning process; Be able to keep paper and electronic nautical charts and publications up to date and even be able to calculate tidal heights and streams, including using interpolation.


These highly interactive digital courses for seafarers are designed in modular format. They are now available via web and app and can be downloaded from the iOS or Android stores.

Each individual course is £5.98 per 2 course credits and bundles starting from £145 are available for colleges, maritime academies, Further Education institutions, Ship companies and ship management companies, Crewing companies, Maritime apprenticeships etc.

Please go to our Learn@Sea page to find out more about our courses and to sign up to the education suite.

Coming Ashore Programme reaches 200th applicant

Coming Ashore Programme reaches 200th applicant

Marine Society are proud to announce that our Coming Ashore programme reached its 200th applicant this month. This has been achieved in under a year since the programme’s launch back in February 2020.

From its original inception back in 2016, Coming Ashore has developed into a flourishing multifaceted programme of support that is helping make a clear path for seafarers transitioning to a shoreside role.

This milestone is a landmark for the programme and supports the fact that many seafarers – especially the millennial generation- now come ashore much earlier than their predecessors, with long careers at sea becoming less common.

Our mentoring programme is starting to build fruitful relationships between our Coming Ashore mentors and their respective mentees with feedback from both groups being very positive.

The decision to commit to the programme is a huge one for our mentees. Paul Naranjo-Shepherd – a programme mentor – appropriately describes the transition ashore as ‘a leap into the dark for most of us’. And it truly is.

Paul highlights the fact that when he was looking to move ashore, he felt like ‘there were jobs and opportunities out there but you have no access to them, nor much of an idea where or what they are.’

The founder of Whitehorse Maritime believes we may have found a solution to the issue:

“The Marine Society's Coming Ashore program solves this problem by connecting those coming ashore to those who have already made the transition. That way, those coming ashore have the support, contacts and mentoring necessary to make their move ashore a great success"

Many seafarers find the adjustment very challenging initially, which is why, with the generous support of MEF and the ITF Seafarers Trust, we have been able to develop this programme and want to help as many seafarers as possible.

In these unprecedented times, you may be considering your job prospects more than ever in order to secure a stable career. If this is you, we encourage you to visit to find out everything you need to know about the programme and whether it would fit your needs.