LOC looks to industry for ways of developing its casualty forum following resounding Singapore success

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Nearly 400 senior shipping professionals attended the second Asian Marine Casualty Forum (AMCF) hosted by London Offshore Consultants (LOC) held last month, making the event one of the largest gatherings during Singapore Maritime Week.

Now established as the world’s leading casualty management event, coupled with the overwhelmingly positive feedback received post event, has prompted leading figures in the industry to consider holding the forum alternatively between Singapore and London, perhaps on a bi-annual basis.

LOC managing director Andrew Squire said: “When we launched AMCF in 2015 we agreed our industry needed a forum in which to openly discuss the many pressing issues which salvors and casualty specialists face today.  We also felt the best way to achieve this was to encourage the industry to be 100% stakeholders hence the underlying principle of the forum, “arranged by the industry for the industry”.

“The success of the first event led us to produce a second AMCF in April and the response was even more enthusiastic.”

Industry leaders are considering how best to develop AMCF which has become so popular. The second forum drew even more attention than the first with more than 540 registered delegates and 376 attending over two days.

AMCF 2017 highlighted risk management, the demise of the Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF), progress with places of refuge and cooperation with authorities.

An insight into the search for the lost Malaysian airline flight MH70 was a key attraction given the sensitivity and exhaustive efforts to date.

The agenda was developed with close cooperation with the industry including the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) and the International Salvage Union and others.

Speakers were drawn from P&I Clubs, salvors, authorities, marine lawyers and environmental specialists ITOPF.  Lively debates took place on the future of LOF and global progress with places of refuge.

Delegates heard views on risk assessment and management from the standpoint of consultants, Clubs and salvors. Progress on closer cooperation between insurers and authorities under the IG Outreach initiative was discussed.

Questioning the need to remove wrecks which do not pose a threat to navigation or the environment drew particular interest.

Sponsorship from industry leaders almost doubled for the 2nd forum demonstrating the widespread support and enthusiasm from across the industry.  Supporting organisations also increased from Singapore and globally.

Mr Squire added: “Overall, the forum achieved its objective.  Important topics were given a well-deserved airing with knowledge and experience shared between experts from the speaking panel and the many delegates.”

Delegates and sponsors were full of praise for the second AMCF.

Leendert Muller, Managing Director of Multraship and past president of the International Salvage Union, said: “Again, this year the AMCF was a high-level conference. All major key players and their senior staff attended! A superb networking event. The setup, a non-profit “from the Industry for the Industry” conference proves to very appreciated and successful. I wouldn’t object if the organising team would make it an annual event, next year London, the other year Singapore again.”

Michael Kelleher, chairman of the Large Casualty Working Group and Consultant to West of England P&I commented: “The 2nd Asian Marine Casualty Forum equalled if not exceeded the first for quality of the presentations and the vibrancy of the industry participation. It was a great success and was very well managed and chaired by LOC on behalf of industry.”

He added: “Highlights included in depth case studies which gelled very well with efforts led by the International Group of Clubs with the assistance States led by Maritime New Zealand to explain the outreach initiative to engage in training and preparedness for future casualty management and the adoption of proactive rather than reactive approaches to large maritime incidents involving removal of wreck operations. Within the ambit of such operations the concept and the workings of risk management techniques were examined with all industry participants which lead to robust debate and development of mutually conciliatory approaches going forward. For a like these can only benefit the industry at large and must therefore be welcomed.”

AMCF conference chairman David Pockett added: “The forum success showed the industry at its best, working together to provide an event at minimal cost but rich in content addressing the topical issues of the day.”