The Nautical Institute has marked half a century of achievement with a heavily illustrated commemorative book.

Fifty Years of The Nautical Institute is a lavishly produced hardback that charts the NI’s progress from conception to maturity. It was in the 1960s that thought was first given to creating a professional organisation for deck officers, largely to counter a fragmented approach to merchant navy qualifications and poor retention of officers. Finally, in 1972 The Nautical Institute started its work.

The NI’s journey from its foundation to its Golden Anniversary is illustrated with a wealth of archive material, much of it sourced from the pages of the Institute’s professional journal, Seaways. The photographs and cuttings remind us how much has changed in those five decades, from the size and design of ships, to pay rates, fashions and attitudes towards safety, women and the environment.

NI Chief Executive Captain John Lloyd remarks in the book: “Celebrating 50 years as a professional organisation dedicated to the furthering of knowledge in nautical science is a hugely important milestone in our history.

“That we have achieved so much and that we continue to make an important contribution across the sector is testament to the application and commitment of so many people who have contributed extensively through the years.”

The Institute has gained several international and national awards, notably for its pioneering work in promoting awareness of the human element within the maritime sector. The success of this work will be seen in the years to come through human-centred design of ships and equipment.

Looking ahead to the next half-century, current NI President Jillian Carson-Jackson says: “The NI is celebrating 50 years of growth and change and is well positioned for the next 50 years. There are so many opportunities for maritime professionals, and the NI is there – leading the way, influencing the industry and supporting our members. We will continue to focus on the human element, the maritime professional, while recognising and embracing the benefits and challenges of digital transformation.”

As part of its jubilee year, the NI is also hosting a series of international events whose themes look ahead to the next 50 years. These include the Institute’s AGM, conference and dinner in Plymouth in addition to a packed schedule of technical seminars, networking and celebratory events across the world.

Fifty Years of The Nautical Institute (ISBN 978 1 906915 99 5, NI ref 0405) is published on 8 April and retails at £75.00, or £50 for NI members. The handsome case bound volume is covered with a special material called Toile Ocean, which is made from recycled plastic waste gathered from the sea. The book is available to buy from the NI website here.

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