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IoM Hosts Red Ensign Conference

by Jason Gorringe,, London

23 May 2012

The Isle of Man played host recently to delegates from the United Kingdom and the other Crown Dependencies and UK Offshore Territories which operate British Ship Registers.

Over 40 delegates from as far afield as the Falkland Islands and Montserrat attended the annual event, which is held in a different jurisdiction each year on a rotating basis. The Conference provides a key platform for decision makers from each of the territories to debate policy approaches, to present a unified response among the thirteen British ship registries on maritime issues in international fora.

Co-chaired by Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, the Conference tackled a range of subjects and issues as well as establishing future strategic direction for the group. This year the Group debated issues such as piracy attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, and the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes committed at sea, both of which will be taken forward for debate at the International Maritime Organization.

John Shimmin, who opened the conference, said: "It was an honour for the Isle of Man to host such an important conference and I am delighted with the way the programme was received by our guests. The work of the conference is important but equally important is showcasing the Isle of Man to such important visitors. As well as the hard work of the conference, delegates were treated to a social programme which showed the island at its best."

Minister at the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for the island's shipping registry, Alex Downie, added: "This was an excellent opportunity for the Isle of Man to show its strengths, not only as one of the leading British ship registers but also our hospitality and what we have to offer in terms of our scenery, our venues and our arts scene. We have made many new contacts who hope to return to the island as visitors and friends."

Massey welcomed progress made at the event, stating: "These conferences are really important for the family of 13 British territories whose ships proudly fly the Red Ensign. We made real progress in building on the health, strength and high quality of the British fleet, as well as further deepening our friendship and collaborative spirit. It was a particular delight to enjoy the warm hospitality and delightful atmosphere of the Isle of Man, where we were made very welcome at every opportunity, both professional and social."

TAGS: marine

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