Plymouth hosts Nautical Institute 50th Anniversary celebrations with international Conference

30 Jun 2022

As one of the founding branch members of the Nautical Institute, next week Plymouth will host the Institute’s 50th Anniversary Conference, Dinner and AGM.

Founded in 1972 the Nautical Institute has thousands of maritime professionals as members around the world, representing the best of the shipping industry and providing inspiration, knowledge and leadership. The Nautical Institute is proudly represented by over 50 branches worldwide.

Since the Institute’s formation there has been a revolution in shipping. Advances in technology including communication and navigation, an increased appreciation of the marine environment and a fourfold increase in cargo carried by sea have impacted on those involved in the management and operation of ships. From relatively humble beginnings the Nautical Institute has grown to become a body recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the quality of the knowledge and practical experience of its members.

The 50th Anniversary is being celebrated in different ways in locations around the world including San Francisco, Greece, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, London and Plymouth.

Captain John Lloyd, Nautical Institute CEO commented:

It is a real privilege to be supporting our global series of events that give us the opportunity of addressing issues at a local level and at the same time showcase the very best in maritime. We welcome the international nature of these conferences and seminars and thank all of our members and supporters who have made them possible.”

The sold out Conference will be held at the University of Plymouth and will be looking at the future of the maritime profession at a time of rapid societal change. Attendees will hear from a range of guest speakers across the two days from organisations including OneOcean, Lloyd’s List, MLA College, MSubs and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The celebratory Dinner will be held at The Box.

In 1972 the South West of England branch, of the newly constituted Nautical Institute, held their first meeting at RAF Mount Batten on the topic of Modern Sea Survival Techniques. The branch was then soon established at the Plymouth School of Maritime Studies. Now the MLA College provides the base for monthly meetings and presentations.

Master Mariner Paul Willerton, Fellow of the Nautical Institute and a Founder Member said:

“I could never have imagined that fifty years on from the first branch meeting at RAF Mount Batten that the Nautical Institute would become what it is today. The Institute was a constant throughout my maritime career and its ongoing growth and success will ensure all professional mariners continue to be represented in a truly international organisation that is dedicated to the promotion of good practice.”

Paul is still an active member today and has been involved with the working group for the Plymouth based 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Captain Richard Allan, Chair of the South West England Nautical Institute branch and Harbour Master and CEO of Cattewater Harbour Commissioners said:

“It is completely fitting that the Institute’s 50th celebrations should include Plymouth and we are pleased to be hosting the Conference, Dinner and AGM and welcoming members from around the world to the city. These are exciting times for the shipping industry and maritime professionals and whilst the South West branch is still incredibly well supported we are always open to new members.”

On Friday 8 July, and to informally end the three day 50th Anniversary celebrations in Plymouth, there will be a free public event ‘One Ocean, Seven Seas’ organised by the Maritime Foundation and supported by the Nautical Institute and the University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute. Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE PhD will be a guest speaker with Dr Heather Koldeway from Zoological Society of London and University of Exeter, and Mr Kevin Forshaw, Director of Industrial and Strategic Partnerships from University of Plymouth who will all present and highlight the issues and challenges facing the world’s ocean and seas and consider ways forward.

To book a place for the free public event ‘One Ocean, Seven Seas’ please visit