About Nautilus

Nautilus members work at sea and ashore, and the Union has members in all the waterborne transport sectors. Sometimes we are referred to as the ‘Merchant Navy union’, but this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Members include shipmasters, officers, cadets, ratings, yacht crew, VTS officers, harbourmasters, river boatmen, nautical college lecturers, maritime lawyers and even ship-based medical personnel.

Nautilus International traces its history back to 1857, when the Mercantile Marine Service Association was founded in the UK in response to the provisions of the 1850 Merchant Shipping Act. Over the decades, various bodies representing seafarers and inland navigation workers in three countries were established – and later joined together in the interests of their members, resulting eventually in the organisation we now know as Nautilus International.

Our cross-boundary nature and our combined membership gives Nautilus International unparalleled knowledge, insights, and influence in the maritime sector at national and global levels, as we are represented at a range of maritime decision-making bodies, forums and training institutions.

The objectives in our Strategic Plan have been developed to take account of the ever-changing and often challenging maritime environment in which we and our 20,000 members operate'

General secretary Mark Dickinson

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