Safe Ships, Safer Seas 2011: Kelvin Hughes’ Athens seminar tackles piracy issues head-on.
Thursday 20 October 2011 saw world-leading navigational systems provider Kelvin Hughes present the first in its series of ‘Safe Ships, Safer Seas’ seminars to an audience in Athens consisting of 100 Greek ship owners, operators and senior executives. Held at the Apollon Divani Spa Hotel, Vouliagmeni, the event went ahead despite national strike action across Greece and was well attended, with a keynote address by George D. Gourdomichalis, President and MD of G. Bros Maritime S.A and President of Piraeus Marine Club.
Safe Ships, Safer Seas focussed specifically on three industry topics: Maritime Security and Piracy, ECDIS mandation and eNavigation and Future Bridge Technology. The morning session included experts from Kelvin Hughes who were joined by guest speakers from across Greek and international shipping including George Tsavliris from Tsavliris Salvage, William Frain-Bell from Maritime Risk International and Paulo Saranga from FLIR. All of the speakers talked of the increasing risks of piracy attacks for the merchant marine with one describing modern pirates as ‘men of business’ operating a multi-million dollar industry. Bruce Santos, Marketing Manager for Kelvin Hughes showcased the organisation’s newly developed radar solutions which utilise state-of-the-art technology to provide high level threat detection to combat piracy across commercial shipping operations.
For Kelvin Hughes, headquartered in the UK, the timing of this first seminar on maritime security could not have been more apt, and this morning Kelvin Hughes’ CEO Russell Gould said: “The news this weekend that UK PM David Cameron has agreed to allow armed guards onboard British-flagged vessels travelling off the coast of Somalia demonstrates how piracy has quickly become an issue not only for the maritime community, but for the wider global economy.” He continued: “The aim of the seminar was to discuss maritime security close up and to look at the implications it has on day to day ship operations. Many of our speakers are specialists in the sector and were able to offer advice and expertise on security solutions as well as speak to the audience about their personal experiences.”
The second session focussed on ECDIS and Future Bridge Technology and included Alasdair Ireland from V Ships and eNavigation expert Dan Pillich together with speakers from Kelvin Hughes. Topics ranged from the difficulties of implementing ECDIS fleet-wide to the use of the latest multifunction display technology to reduce costs and simplify navigator training. Closing the event, Kelvin Hughes’ Director of Marine Systems, Spike Hughes, took a look into the future with the spotlight on future bridge technology and an eBridge concept which will be multi-functional, flexible, and owner configurable.
Following the seminar, delegates were able to take part in demonstrations of Kelvin Hughes’ MantaDigital ECDIS and radar and its latest electronic navigation technology for threat detection including integration with the latest thermal imaging camera equipment from its partner organisation, FLIR.