COMPANY HISTORY AND SOLAS
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner, operated by the White Star Line, it sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.
The initial draft of The SOLAS convention (Safety of Life at Sea) was originated in the UK, in response to this tragic loss of life. The result of this treaty was to prescribe a minimum level of safety for vessels at sea, which included the minimum number of lifeboats, emergency equipment, and many other lifesaving procedures to be adopted.
The first version was ready for distribution in 1914 but was not entered into service regrettably, due to the breakout of the First World War. Re-published years later, with various updates, the third edition of 1929 (UK Treaty Series No. 32 1932) was signed off by the UK, EU and USA and released for use.
Initially intended as a reference source for all crew members, a copy the SOLAS convention was always made available in crew/mess rooms, recreation rooms and crew cabins. Over the years essential updates were issued, one in 1948 (UK Treaty Series No. 4 1954) and another in 1960 (IMCO/SAFCON 1960), with addendums, including the creation of various training manuals, 14 books in total.
The SOLAS convention of 1974 (UN Treaty Series 1974) was an international agreement between Flag States, which sets standards on various aspects of marine safety, including construction equipment and the operation of all merchant ships.
The wreckage of the Titanic was finally found in 1985 by an American ship, by happy coincidence called Atlantis. In the same year, our company was formed as a result of an association of Britain’s premier College of Maritime in Warsash, Southampton and Atlantis Technical Services to become Maritime Progress Limited. MPL has become ‘the go to company’ for all IMO legislative compliant manuals, including SOLAS, training publications, record books, safety signs, safety posters and photoluminescent (LLL) escape guidance systems.
All these products are created and manufactured in our UK factories.
Maritime Progress historical timeline
1985 – Formed in 1985 initially as a joint venture between The College of Maritime Studies (in Warsash, Southampton; Britain’s premier Maritime College serving the International Maritime Shipping Industry) and Atlantis Technical Services, it produced technical documentation for the marine industry.
Coinciding with the early use of photoluminescent materials within the marine industry, Maritime Progress Limited developed rapidly to become a market leader in the specialist field of marine signage, offering both efficiency and comprehensive services supplying all types of marine signage and allied safety products.
1994 – The company became part of a group under the holding firm, Warnstar Ltd. The group’s experience in the marine sector extended to the servicing of Inert Gas Systems for tankers, combustion control instrumentation and pipeline paints and coatings.
It gained an excellent reputation for knowledge of marine safety legislation that resulted in the introduction of the range of safety awareness and training posters, which now number over 80 consistently revised titles. Maritime Progress liaises with many regulatory authorities, key ship owners and operators to ensure that all products meet current international legislation. We have assisted both ISSA and IMPA in the preparation of the signage sections of their catalogues and participate in the revision process of SOLAS Chapter II.
Today, we have representation on the following committees and are a part of the decision process:-
BSI and ISO Committees
SME 32 – Ships and marine technology steering group
PH/008 – Graphical symbols & PH/008/01 – Graphical symbols – Safety signs
ISO/TE8/SC1 – Ships and marine technology – Lifesaving and fire protection
ISO/TC8/SC1/WG3 – Ships and marine technology – Fire protection
1998 – Maritime Progress expanded its In-house design department and, using the latest CAD software, final plans can be produced to any dimension or format (including booklet form) on various types of materials and substrates.
2000 – Maritime Progress launched its publications department, offering IMO publications, MPL logbooks and MPL training manuals complying with the requirements of SOLAS and MARPOL.
2001 – The Company opened a new headquarters, at the Sealand Centre in Redhill. Its expansion enabled increased production capabilities and improved facilities to maintain a growing product range and to maintain a top service quality.
Warnstar Signage Ltd was formed and produced a brochure dedicated to land signage and safety products. It also launched a new website www.signsforsafety.co.uk
The company was certified for BS EN ISO 9001: 2000 and is now accredited to BS EN ISO 9001: 2008.
The Maritime Progress Book has been adopted as a reference by many regulatory bodies and our website maritimeprogress.com (with online ordering facilities) serves to support and reinforce those aims.
2007 – Investing in digital technology improved our ability to produce ‘special runs’ and smaller volume products that complement existing hand bench and Svesia production equipment.
The new printer provides high quality definition prints, on virtually any substrate, and is capable of handling either rolled or rigid material up to an inch thick and eight foot wide. It is highly versatile.
2008 – A new sister company Telegan Pressed Products Ltd (www.teleganpressedproducts.com), based in Harwich, UK, joined our strength and is the only production facility to produce pressed products in the UK. It was born from the demise of an 80 year old plastics company located in Brantham producing soft visual panels for safety suits, motor vehicles, marine craft and the signage industry.
Working together with the chemical engineers in Harwich, we developed a range of new products that include Telglow™ photoluminescent materials (PSPA Class A-D), Vynalast™ engraving materials, carriers for Low Location Lighting, as well as pathway illuminated matting for Telscape systems.
2013 – Investment in a large scale router allowed us to extend our product range, incorporating framing systems, kick boards, safety rails, floor matting and LLL carriers, as well as taking on projects requiring router services.
2015 – Signs for Safety book was launched, in conjunction with the new website www.signsforsafety.co.uk
2016 – Our digital print capabilities were expanded, with a digital flatbed printer for rigid materials (print width capability 2440×1220) and a large format vinyl printer (print width capability 1650mm).
2017 – Telegan Pressed Products relocated to purpose built premises in Manningtree, to cater for future and continued expansion.
2018 – Chairman and founder, Mr Terry Egan, passed away in March. His expertise, commitment and enthusiasm are sorely missed, however, with the support of a great workforce and the determination of the management, Maritime Progress and the other companies within the group continue to thrive.
The company celebrated BS EN ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Assurance accreditation. Full traceability on our own photoluminescent material is readily identified by our Warnstar Trade Mark, which appears on all signage.
2019 – Restructuring with an eye to the future, we strengthened our printing facilities with two new Eco-solvent printers, which we have nicknamed ‘Pinky’ and ‘Brains’, to add to the existing array of printers – named after The Minions, with “Kevin” being the busiest.
2020 – Maritime Progress continued to operate throughout recent pandemic lockdowns and continued to provide the impeccable services for which it is renowned.