The International Nautical Institute has elected its first non-British President in the person of Captain James Robinson, DSM FNI Irish Navy. Captain Robinson, who only recently retired from the Irish Navy, was elected at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting held in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, and he will serve a two-year term of office.
The Nautical Institute is the world’s leading international professional body for qualified mariners and those associated with the maritime profession. Through its Constitution, the Council of the Nautical Institute is directed to provide ‘the strongest possible professional focus, dedicated to improving standards of those in control of seagoing craft, while maintaining the Institute as an international centre of nautical excellence.’ Founded in 1972, the Institute is a thriving international professional body for qualified mariners with over 40 branches world-wide and some 6,500 members in over 110 countries.
Captain Robinson retired as Officer Commanding Naval Operations Command and Second in Command of the Naval Service.
Born in Waterford and reared at Rockenham, Ferrybank, he has been a mariner for 42 years, including 36 years in the Irish Navy and six years in Irish Shipping. Service with Irish Shipping included a cadetship and periods as Third and Second Officer. He was commissioned into the navy in 1973.
His naval career comprised many appointments afloat and ashore and included nine years in command at sea. He served for two years in the Lebanon, Sinai Desert and Egypt as a UN Military Observer and as a staff officer. He also served for a year in Vienna as a military planner for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff School of the Military College.
In 1985 while in command of LE Aisling he was On-Scene Commander for the first 18 hours of the search and recovery operation in the aftermath of the crash of Air India Flight 182, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal together with three members of his ship’s company.