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Cape Town hosts Nautical Institute Command Seminar

Posted on: 11 April 2017

The second in The Nautical Institute’s 2017 series of Command Seminars continues to focus on Navigation Accidents and their Causes, a topic that is receiving considerable attention in the industry.

The seminar began today in Cape Town, South Africa, with NI President Captain Duke Snider FNI giving the opening address before handing over to South African Maritime Safety Authority CEO Mr Sobantu Tilayi for the keynote address. Independent marine consultant Captain Alan Reid MNI, then introduced the main theme.

Navigation assessments play a key role in helping maintain high standards on board and prevent accidents. NI Technical Manager Captain Harry Gale FNI, author of The Nautical Institute’s popular new book Navigation Assessments – a guide to best practice, stressed that a well-conducted assessment is something that all on board should welcome. Captain Gale explained: “A navigation assessment is a learning event for both the assessor and the bridge team, bringing fresh insights and new resources. The assessor should aim to help improve the skills of the bridge team, congratulate them on what has gone well and encourage them to further improvement.”

The theme of emphasising the positive continued as Captain Simão Finda José MNI of Cabinda Gulf Oil spoke about mentoring.

The event continues with Captain Snider updating attendees on the latest developments in ice navigation and polar operations, while independent marine surveyor and consultant Captain Gary Walsh MNI discusses some aspects of ECDIS.

Proper training and preparation for command is vital to the safety of vessel and crew. With this in mind, the final presentation of the Cape Town Seminar will be delivered by Captain Stuart McAllister, on the topic Preparing for Command. The subject ties in with the newly launched Nautical Institute Command Diploma Scheme distance learning programme, which is designed for those aspiring to command or who have recently been promoted to Master. To find out more about the scheme, please email:

All the Command Seminars offer excellent opportunities for debate, discussion and networking with maritime professionals. The next event takes place in London on 17‑18 May, coinciding with the Institute’s annual general meeting. The Command Seminar roadshow then moves on to Cork, Ireland, on 12‑13 October, before concluding in Limassol, Cyprus, on 3 November.

More details about all these events can be found on the Institute’s website at:

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