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International Maritime Safety Award

The ABC Network believes that the safety of both the seafarer and the maritime environment begins with good design, followed by sound construction and efficient operation.   Whilst naval architects and other engineers involved in the design, construction and operation of maritime vessels and structures do not have a patent on such issues, nonetheless their work can make a significant contribution.

The ABC Network also believes that it has a role to play in recognising achievement of engineers in improving safety at sea and the protection of the maritime environment.   Such recognition serves to raise awareness and promote further improvements.

The Maritime Safety Award is presented by the ABC Network, in association with Global Alliance of Classification Societies to an individual, company or organisation which has made a significant technological contribution to improving maritime safety or the protection of the maritime environment.  Such contribution can have been made either by a specific activity or over a period of time.  Nominations may be made by any member of the global maritime community, and are judged by a panel of members of the ABC Network and Lloyd’s Register.  The Award will be announced at the ABC Network’s Annual Dinner.

The 2015 ABC Network -GACS Maritime Safety Award has been shared, in recognition of two significant contributions to the maritime industry. Stanley Davidson has been recognised for his lifetime contribution to improving the safety of small craft, while Griffon Hoverworks together with the Hovercraft Manufacturers’ Association are recognised for their work in creating a dedicated Code of Practice and a regulatory process for the construction and certification of small hovercraft.  The Winners were announced at the ABC Network’s 2016 Annual Dinner.

For nearly four decades, Stanley Davidson has carried out research into small craft of all types.
His work in comparing the level of safety afforded by the monohull and multihull stability criteria of the IMO Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft led to a new stability criterion relating the incidence of capsize to the size of the waves in relation to the vessel.

His work into the development and presentation of simplified loading guidance for fishing vessels has the potential to have a significant impact on the high fatality rate amongst UK fishermen.

Following a series of casualties in the early 1980s Stanley Davidson led much of the extensive research into stability requirements for sailing vessels. This work led directly to the Small Commercial Vessel Code of Safety for Sailing Vessels.

Following the loss of the ‘Marchioness’ in 1989, Barry led research into the behaviour of small motor vessels when involved in collision with a larger vessel.

ABC Network - GACS Joint Committee Chief Executive, Kimberley James, writes: “Stanley Davidson’s work is notable because it encompasses both original theoretical research and the identification of measures that will enable the results to be put into practice. By working in a pragmatic way with key stakeholders he has ensured that his work has made a lasting and significant contribution to the safety of small craft.”

Prior to the introduction of the Hovercraft Code, existing standards were developed for large vessels operating internationally.  Small hovercraft could not really meet these standards and, as such, the hovercraft sector in the UK has been restricted to craft operating mainly in the pleasure and military sectors.

This Code now legally permits the commercial use of small hovercraft where their unique operating abilities will be of great benefit. The development of the Code will drive forward safety standards on small hovercraft and promote their technological development.  Although a UK Code, other countries have already expressed interest in using the standards for their own domestic market.