Mark Bull

Mark Bull

Mark Bull commenced his career 49 years ago and is currently a Marine Consultant specialising in Navigation Assessments and Navigation Assessor training. He is a Fellow of The Nautical Institute, member of council and member of their technical committee. His company has just been awarded The Nautical Institute’s “Recognition” for Navigation Assessor – Masters’ Self Assessment. He spent 27 years at sea, including 5 in command; 12 years in shipmanagement in senior positions; 3 years in P&I Loss Prevention and 8 years as a consultant. Mark has extensive experience of the ISM Code; implementing the system onboard ship, training his crew and undergoing the first external audit (pre-convention). He then moved ashore where he was responsible for putting the entire fleet through the audit processes, reviewing Master’s comments on the system, amending procedures and re-writing large sections. He qualified as an ISO/ISM Lead Auditor in 1997 and – quote – has lost count of the number of audits he has conducted.

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And the band played on…..

The verdict is now out and the sentence issued in the Wakashio incident. The events do not make for comfortable reading; “closing the coast to get a Wi-Fi signal”, “lookout released to attend a birthday party”, master admits to drinking “moderately” , another pristine island’s coastline damaged by pollution and the total loss of a ship. An incident that has cast shame on our industry, writes Capt. Mark Bull, FNI, Principal, Trafalgar Navigation Limited.

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Why the ISM Code is failing

During the 2020 SAFETY4SEA London Forum, Capt. Mark Bull, Principal, Trafalgar Navigation Limited, questioned if the ISM Code is failing, after more than 20 years since its implementation. Capt. Bull firstly provided a brief history of the ISM Code, as well as a description of the five main areas where he felt the Code has failed and went on to explain how such potential failures affect the crew. Since it was introduced; however, nobody has reviewed the Code to ensure its ongoing effectiveness, he concluded.

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On the threshold of autonomous ships

Mark Bull, Marine Consultant, Trafalgar Navigation, pointed out that we are on the threshold of a major change in our industry; it has already started and it is now picking up speed. During his presentation at the 2017 SAFETY4SEA Conference, he said that the new ‘buzz’ word around us now is autonomous; however, many things need to be considered about that.

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Revolution underway on the bridge

Mark Bull, Trafalgar Navigation, says that the provision of ECDIS on board today’s merchant ships is causing a ‘revolution’ in the way they are navigated. Like all revolutions, issues that were never considered crop up, and ECDIS is no exception. Above all, he notes, an ECDIS mindset is required.

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Putting Navigation back where it belongs

Mark Bull, Independent Marine Consultant gave a presentation entitled''Putting Navigation back where it belongs'' at the 2015 SAFETY4SEA Athens Forum. During his presentation, he linked the ongoing level of navigational accidents occurring worldwide to what he described as the "unimportance" of navigation in today's world. From the very first voyages of discovery, he took us on a journey to the present day showing just how marine navigation had contributed to the marine industry. He closed his presentation by offering a simple and yet minimal cost solution to this problem.I have devoted almost exclusively the last 12 months to conducting navigational assessments on board ships underway at sea. This formed the catalyst of my presentation today Putting navigation back where it belongs. It is over 45 years ago since I commenced my career and now I feel that I have come full circle: back on the bridges of ships. I am back to my roots.90% of world trade is carried by sea. Liner shipping alone contributes 400 billion dollars and employs 13.5 million people. As the former IMO Secretary General stated that if shipping stopped today, within one week half the world would be going hungry and the other half would...

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