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    Key role for IMCA at Middle East Workboat event

    News // April 22, 2008

    Two key members of the secretariat of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) will be playing an important role at this month’s inaugural Middle East Workboats Exhibition and Conference, being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 28-30 April 2008.

    IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams, will speak on ‘IMCA and marine contracting in the Middle East & India region’ on the opening morning; while Technical Adviser, Ian Giddings, will be considering ‘Good DP practice and procedures’ in the Operational Issues session on 30 April.

    “Marine contracting is at an all-time high in the region,” explained Hugh Williams. “And, our very active Middle East & India Section plays an important role as local members’ efforts have resulted not only in expanding membership but, most importantly, a significant increase in the take-up of IMCA guidance by contractors and operating companies in the region. This has very definite benefits for all concerned in terms of safety and efficiency, not just regionally, but globally."

    “IMCA now has 460+ members in 51 countries and of course a common and collective approach is of great importance when bearing in mind the mobility of assets and people in our global industry. Members of a contractors’ team working out of Abu Dhabi today may find themselves working in the Gulf of Mexico later in the year, and the North Sea or Caspian Sea next year and, knowing that wherever they are they can expect to work in safety to the same guidelines has enormous benefits. The larger our membership grows, the greater becomes the range of services we can offer our member companies, and the greater our influence in ensuring that safety standards are kept high.”

    Over a fifth of the total membership of IMCA are members of the Middle East and India Section, which was founded in 1992; and which has continually striven to raise technical and safety practices among companies operating in the region. There is strong section representation in each of the four technical divisions - diving, marine, remote systems and ROV, and offshore survey.

    DP guidance and incident analysis

    One area in which IMCA is extremely active is in preparation of guidance, and incident analysis relating to dynamic positioning (DP). This is the area on which Ian Giddings will be concentrating in his presentation.

    “IMCA DP guidelines result from the practical experience of members and others; from workgroups – and email groups - set up to address specific topics; by information from manufacturers; and input from external consultants, and every published guidance document is kept up-to-date thanks to continuing input from our members,” he explained. “One publication that is of particular relevance to the audience at the workboat conference is ‘International guidelines for the safe operation of dynamically positioned offshore supply vessels’. The guidelines, which are free to download from the IMCA website, set out good practice as developed by a list of over seventy interests including vessel operators and related organisations based and operating around the world.”

    Learning from experience is key; and IMCA’s annual station keeping incidents continue to prove invaluable to operators of DP vessels; and Ian Giddings will be covering the importance of sharing knowledge on incidents in his presentation. “It is essential that data and lessons learned are shared,” he said. “Not only do they provide a reminder of the hazards, but, to quote from C W Johnson’s ‘Handbook of Incident and Accident Reporting’, ‘incident reporting schemes are cheaper than accidents’.”

    IMCA holds regular Middle East & India Section meetings with presentations aimed both at member companies and at their clients. Further information on dates and topics can be obtained from IMCA at and details on the association, its publications and events can be found at


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