Marine Institute alumnus and employee Captain Chris Hearn has been elected as President and National Master of the Master Mariners of Canada (MMC).
“I am very pleased to have been elected,” said Capt. Hearn. “For me it means I get to help an organization give back to our profession by acting in an advocacy role for ship masters and senior ship board officers, and in many ways anyone who is part of Canada’s marine transportation industry. This was particularly an honor as we celebrated our 50th anniversary this year.”
The Company of Master Mariners of Canada works to encourage a high standard of ability and professional conduct of the officers of the Canadian Merchant Service, and to participate in national and international groups in matters concerning safety, operation, and regulation of ships and their crews.
Capt. Hearn graduated with his diploma of Nautical Science in 1996. Since then he has held a number of progressive roles in the maritime sector, and is currently MI’s Director of the Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS).
“On behalf of everyone at the Fisheries and Marine Institute, I want to congratulate Capt. Hearn on this extraordinary accomplishment and wish him every success in his mandate,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). “Capt. Hearn’s latest achievement further illustrates the impact that MI alumni have on the global maritime sector.”
The importance of representing MI, and Newfoundland and Labrador on the national stage is not lost on Capt. Hearn. He noted, “The province, and the Marine Institute in particular, is well represented at the management level of the MMC. Apart from myself, Captains Jim Parson and Jon Ennis manage the MMC Foundation, which supports scholarships, bursaries and research. Captain Tony Patterson, former Director of CMS and now President of Virtual Marine Technology, is the National Education Chair.”
Capt. Hearn has already indicated what his focus will be during his two year term as President. “I intend to build on the solid framework we laid out in our strategic plan to increase our visibility and value thus making membership more attractive to people to join. We can do this through engagement, not only with industry and government but also with the public and especially youth,” explained Capt. Hearn.
Capt. Hearn acknowledged the importance of attracting young people to the maritime sector at this year’s annual general meeting. “We had an excellent presentation from Dylan May a second year Nautical Science Student, who came to MI after attending a Nautical Skill competition as a high school student from PEI,” said Capt. Hearn.
Maritime Leadership, Innovation, and Partnerships
Capt. Hearn believes that he can employ a strategy that focuses on communications, relationships, and innovation to highlight the positives in the maritime sector.
“We have great opportunities to continue our work with Federal government by bringing our expertise and experience to help with topics such as the Polar code and the Ocean Protection Plan, stated Capt. Hearn. “The Master Mariners of Canada has seven divisions across the country and with over 300 members engaged in marine activities across these regions we can take a leading role in holding symposiums or forums that focus on particular or challenging issues such as the Right Whale Zone or the examination of autonomous technology for ships.”