Trinity House puts on a show for LISW 2017

Trinity House flies the red ensign at industry event at London International Shipping Week 2017, the industry’s flagship promotional event

Trinity House played a key role in this year’s London International Shipping Week—the British maritime industry’s flagship event—by hosting its own demonstration event on Wednesday 13 September, attended by about 150 guests from various parts of the maritime sector.

Passing under Tower Bridge and arriving on berth next to HMS Belfast in the Pool of London on Monday 11 Sept at 0615, the crew of THV Galatea and other staff proceeded to set up a number of displays on the aft deck and the bridge that would demonstrate the full range of the service it provides to the mariner, covering subjects such as navigation, engineering and operations, charitable works, research and development, commercial services and marine operations.

Addressing the aims and objectives of THV Galatea’s presence at LISW 2017, Commodore Robert Dorey—Director of Operations at Trinity House—spoke to the assembled guests:

“Good evening, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen and on behalf of Captain Bob Culley I would like to welcome you to the Trinity House Vessel Galatea.

My name is Robert Dorey and I am on the Director of Operations for Trinity House. I speak for the Corporation of Trinity House with respect to being a maritime charity, a fraternity with a vast maritime knowledge and an organisation with a statutory function as a General Lighthouse Authority.

Our aim in welcoming you onboard this evening is to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about those roles and to talk to our personnel who run their individual aspects of the business on a day to day basis.

I hope you will see the diversity of what we do as charity in benevolence, safety and training, while as a Lighthouse Authority we determine and constantly review the requirement for aids to navigation and then maintain and service those aids across our areas of responsibility of England, Wales the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.

We are also responsible for the provision of vessels, personnel and equipment, on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year to rectify defects in our aids to navigation when that does occur and respond to wrecks and new dangers. We also audit some 11,000 local lights run by ports and harbours and licence deep sea pilots.

Maintaining the heritage of the estate, within the constraints of sights of special scientific interest, bird breeding seasons and listed buildings, coupled with significant issues of access of some these beautiful but remote stations, or servicing these buoys at sea in deteriorating weather presents many challenges.

So please do take the time to talk to our personnel as you move around the ship tonight. You will see how we integrate the latest technology and constantly strive to maintain the quality service that safety at sea requires and the well trained and highly motivated people who make it happen.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our partners and sponsors who are here tonight. All are equally passionate about safety, manging risk and developing the skills or mariners. Please also take the time to discover a little more about their part in our industry.

Thank you for joining us this evening, I hope it is both enjoyable and informative and with these views of London’s river, I don’t think you can beat it.

Please do have a really good evening.”

Lord Mountevans—Alderman, Chairman of Maritime London and a Younger Brother of Trinity House—followed those words with his own:

“I would very much like to thank Trinity House for the significant effort involved in bring this fine ship the Galatea into London for London International Shipping Week. A red ensign vessel in heart of London captures very visibly, the fact that we are open for business.

I also hope that you will agree that the array of stands that have been prepared provide us with a fabulous insight of the world of a Lighthouse Authority, where by its nature, much of their work goes on quietly behind the scenes or is taken somewhat for granted.

The balance of heritage at one end and cutting edge innovation at the other make the delivery of the service all the more captivating and no doubt, presents its challenges. But the passion of those involved is very clear to us all.

I am very proud to be a Younger Brother of Trinity House and to be a part of the fraternity which supports a wide range of charitable work; including benevolence in terms of caring for some of our more ageing ex-seafarers, through safety, which covers a wide remit in supporting various charities in getting the young and not so young to sea, to training, where £1M a year is spent on supporting young people through Officer Cadets schemes as Deck Officers, Engineer Officers and ETOs. Not to meet Trinity House needs, but to meet the wider needs of the industry.

But back to their role as a General Lighthouse Authority, in providing a service which we should never take for granted.

With 95% of trade arriving in the UK by sea, the safe passage of those vessels into and out of our ports and the provision for safe transit of ships which come and go through our waters to the rest of Europe and beyond is essential to our prosperity as a nation.

The provision of aids to navigation is a key factor in providing safe shipping routes, while the ability to respond to a wreck or new danger at short notice, with right ship and the right equipment and with well trained and highly motivated personnel is essential. The consequence off failure is not something we would wish to contemplate. The potential for a ‘motorway style pile’ up in the confined sand shallow shipping lanes of the Dover Strait would be catastrophic for human life and the environment, and a huge cost to shipping and the subsequent potential restriction in the flow of trade through our waters and to our ports.

My message to Trinity House staff is that your work is I assure you, very much appreciated by the industry and recognised as being vital to the safe movement of trade and through to the safety of each individual mariner.

I am delighted at being given the opportunity to speak to you tonight. I would like to thank your sponsors for this evening; Norton Rose Fulbright, the P&I Clubs Standard and Britannia, The UK Hydrographic Office, IMarEST, and especially, IALA. Thank you all for attending this event and for supporting London International Shipping week.

Have a very good evening.”

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The event was partially co-sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright, Standard P&I Club, Britannia P&I Club, UK Hydrographic Office, IALA, IMarEST and the Trinity House Corporate Charity, who had their own stalls at Wednesday’s event.

Wednesday evening’s event on THV Galatea was preceded by a panel discussion at Norton Rose Fulbright’s office on the aftermath of a casualty, co-hosted by Trinity House. ‘Safety at sea: managing the aftermath’ featured speakers considering a hypothetical scenario and discussing the key issues, risks, liabilities and responsibilities following a major maritime casualty within the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.

Outside of the main evening event on Wednesday, visitors included meetings of and tours for the Department for Transport, London Nautical School Sixth Formers, the Merchant Navy Training Board and the HMS Belfast sea cadet unit. Trinity House’s headquarters on Tower Hill also hosted a number of LISW-related maritime events.

Harry Theochari, global head of transport, Norton Rose Fulbright, comments:

“We have worked with Trinity House for a number of years and were delighted to host an event preceding the display of THV Galatea, showcasing some of the great work Trinity House does to ensure safety at sea. The panel discussion raised some interesting debate around the risks, how to deal with them and who is responsible following a major maritime casualty that we hope provided valuable insight into the key issues.”

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Link to gallery of photos of THV Galatea at LISW 2017


Trinity House

Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community with a statutory duty as a General Lighthouse Authority to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost-effective aids to navigation service for the benefit and safety of all mariners.

The Corporation of Trinity House was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514 to regulate pilotage on the River Thames and provide for aged mariners.

With a mandate that has expanded considerably since then, we are today the UK’s largest-endowed maritime charity, the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar and a fraternity of men and women selected from across the nation’s maritime sector.

We also inspect and audit almost 11,000 local aids to navigation, license Deep Sea Pilots and provide Elder Brethren as Nautical Assessors to the Admiralty Court.

Per annum the charity donates around £5m to the charities we support. These include the provision of cadet training schemes, welfare provision for retired mariners and educational programmes teaching safety at sea skills.

For further information please contact:

Neil Jones, Public Relations and Records Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1255 245155 / Email: