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The Red Ensign Group Conference opened in the Isle of Man

Wednesday, July 20th 2022 - 09:45 UTC
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Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Lorimer (centre) with co-chairs of the REG Conference Katy Ware, (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) and Cameron Mitchell. Photo: Isle of Man Ship Registry) Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Lorimer (centre) with co-chairs of the REG Conference Katy Ware, (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) and Cameron Mitchell. Photo: Isle of Man Ship Registry)

Dealing with the challenges of maritime and coastal state responsibilities is coming under the spotlight at the annual Red Ensign Group (REG) Conference. Challenges of the sector include recovery of maritime following the pandemic, environmental and coastal concerns, as well as commercial competition.

The conference which oversees and upholds maritime safety standards across the thirteen British Shipping Registers is meeting in the Isle of Man to discuss best practices and to look at ways of improving the performance of the British Registers internationally.

It is the first time the conference has met in person since the global pandemic took hold in 2020.

Red Ensign Group members from right across the world will be meeting to discuss maritime matters of interest at the event being held in Douglas. It will also include sessions on the roles and responsibilities of Coastal States and will tackle issues such as decarburization, counter pollution, and environmental concerns.

The event opens with an opening ceremony which will be conducted by His Excellency, Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Lorimer.

Katy Ware, Director of UK Maritime Services at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the UK’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization is co-chairing the event.

She said: ‘The world is a very different place than it was when we last met in person for the conference and the challenges are very real. As a group, we stand firm on safety and well-being of our seafarers – that really is non-negotiable – and we will continue to do so.

“We know that seafarers' lives can be incredibly hard and we remain determined to work to provide ways of supporting them whether it’s through mental health provider or through regulation which protects them in their working life.”

Co-chair Cameron Mitchell, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry said: “We all have a responsibility to those in maritime, whether it’s the seafarers spending long months at sea or the industry trying to rebuild in the aftermath of the global pandemic and the current economic challenges.

“The Red Ensign Group is a powerful force for good in that work and Conference demonstrates just what we can achieve together.”

The REG conference began in 1988 as an opportunity for the registrars of the REG to get together to share ideas, harmonize processes and discuss ways forward. Since then it has expanded to cover seafarer welfare and regulatory matters.

Every year it is held at different locations, reflecting the geography of the Red Ensign Group which consists of the UK, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man, and Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The 33rd Red Ensign Group Conference will be held from 19 – 21 July. (Note: There was no REG Conference in 2021 because of the pandemic)

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