The Team

UKSR Watermark

UK Maritime Services

The UK Fleet has access to experts across the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's UK Maritime Services Directorate. They are responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of seafarers and ships under the Red Ensign.
The UK Flag offers world class surveyors and regulation and policy support. Flag bearers have access to unrivaled maritime knowledge and experience, tailored to your commercial requirements.

Richard Bell, Assistant Director, UK Technical Services Navigation

Richard was appointed to his position in February 2019, previously he had been a deck officer with the RFA and Carnival UK, working in maritime training and the Loss Prevention Executive for the Standard P&I Club.

His role at the MCA requires him to ensure that the UK’s obligations under SOLAS Chapter IV and V are carried out effectively. These obligations include Hydrography, Maritime Surveillance, Navigation Policy and Radio Communications. Richard works closely with the multi-disciplinary teams responsible for maintaining these obligations, helping them solve day to day problems, improving services where possible and to ensure that future challenges are mitigated and anticipated.

Life quote: “If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.” – Miyamoto Musashi

Email Richard directly.


Ian Blair, Assistant Director, Governance (Technical)

Consultancy Ian joined the MCA in March 2010 as a surveyor in the Liverpool Marine Office. Over the following 8 years Ian held multiple roles in the agency including Consultant Surveyor and Technical Performance Manager (and a short spell with the Health and Safety Executive Offshore Division) before assuming the role of Technical Manager in April 2017. Ensuring the safety of those working at sea has always been a priority for Ian throughout his maritime career.

Ian was seconded into the role in April 2018 from the position of Technical Manager in the South West of England.

Having had a career at sea which spanned multiple vessel types culminating in the role of Master onboard panamax container vessels, Ian decided to pursue a career ashore in order to spend more time with family. After a period with a Maritime

Katy Ware describes Ian as her right-hand man for technical matters within UK Maritime Services. Supporting her with strategic oversight, particularly with regards fishing safety, and governance of the various teams in delivering the agencies ambitious ‘Big 3’ goals over the coming years.

Life quote, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools because they have to say something” - Plato.

Email Ian directly or alternatively connect on LinkedIn.



Prasad Panicker

Prasad Panicker, Assistant Director, UK Technical Services Operations

Prasad is a marine engineer who had a career at sea on various types of vessels in different capacities culminating as Chief Engineer. He then worked as a surveyor for a prominent Class Society before joining the MCA in 2005. He has held various roles within the Agency and has headed the Survey, Maritime Security & Safety Management, and Inspection Operations branches prior to taking up this role.

In his current role, Prasad is responsible for supporting and enhancing the overall performance and consistency of survey, inspection and audit operations through monitoring, promoting and evaluating the technical consistency and efficiency of services. He is also responsible for managing the development of policy, regulation,   guidance and instruction in respect of MCA survey, inspection and audit activities and for enabling the provision of consistent survey and inspection advice to MCA surveyors, recognised organisations and vessel operators.

Life quote: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather become a man of value”. - Albert Einstein

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Fraser Heasley, Assistant Director, UK Survey and Inspection - North

Fraser was appointed as the Assistant Director – Survey and Inspection North in January 2019.

Fraser is a Naval Architect and Chartered Engineer by trade and initially worked in the shipbuilding industry prior to joining the MCA in 1998 as a Fishing Vessel Surveyor. Since then Fraser has carried out various roles including Head of Stability Unit, Surveyor in Charge and latterly Technical Manager prior to taking up his current role.

Fraser is responsible for delivering S&I activities in the North of the Country and enjoys the satisfaction through helping make improvements in safety across the marine industry. Away from work he enjoys sailing and following rugby union in all its forms.

Life quote: "Keep the heid" - Unknown

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Tony Heslop, Assistant Director, UK Survey and Inspection - South

Tony started his seagoing career in September 1977 as an Engineering Cadet with an old established North East Shipping Company, Stephenson Clarke. He then moved on to work as an Engineer with Cunard on the QE2 before joining Cable & Wireless Marine, working at sea as an engineer then ashore as a Technical Superintendent.

Tony gained the relevant seagoing certificates up to ‘Chief’s ticket’ through the joyful experience of sitting MCA Oral Exams in Hull (OOW), Newcastle (2nd’s) and Spring Place (Chief’s).

He joined the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in 2003 as Area Operations Manager for the South West, and in March 2017, Anthony took on his current role as Assistant Director, UK Survey and Inspection, for the South of the UK, helping over the past three years to implement the Survey and Inspection Transformation Program. Since February this year he has been working with fellow AD’s in keeping the UK fleet moving.

Life quote – "God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die." - Bill Watterson

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Glenn Richardson

Glenn Richardson, Assistant Director, Governance (Business)

Glenn joined the civil service in 1992 as an Admin Assistant within HM Customs and Excise before transferring to the Agency in 1995. During his 25+ years career Glenn has undertaken a number of roles focussing predominantly around Project/Programme Management. Most recently in leading roles for both the Future Coastguard and Survey and Inspection business change programmes.

As Assistant Director, Glenn supports Katy Ware in the strategic oversight and management of business/corporate governance matters, for example Finance, Risk, HR. Supporting Maritime Services teams in delivering the agency’s ambitious plans over the coming years.

Life quote: “Progress, not perfection” - Unknown

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Ashley Stehr

Ashley Stehr, Assistant Director, Maritime Future Technologies

Ashley joined the agency last year to form and lead the new Maritime Future Technologies team. This dynamic team is driving forward and supporting the implementation of cutting-edge innovation in both Emission Reduction and Autonomy in the Maritime sector. Ashley has diverse experience across a number of sectors and joined the agency from a systems engineering consultancy environment.

Ashley is passionate about enabling the implementation of innovative technologies from a regulatory perspective and driving positive change in the industry. His ultimate aim is to ensure that the UK is seen as a worldwide role model at the heart of the global maritime autonomy industry and is proactively driving and leading the transition to zero emission shipping.

Life quote: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Mark Twain

Email Ashley directly or alternatively connect on LinkedIn.

Gwilym Stone

Gwilym Stone, Assistant Director, UK Technical Services Ship Standards

Gwilym became Assistant Director, Ship Standards in January 2018, having joined the MCA in 2007.

Before current role he had spent 5 years in the International Liaison team, working across both IMO’s technical and governance meetings. He was also the focal point on EU engagement, which included taking a lead role in the Agency’s preparations for Brexit.

His current team has responsibility for developing, and maintaining, UK policies and regulations relating to a wide range of safety and environmental issues associated with ships and vessels of all sizes (from small pleasure vessels to the largest internationally trading ships).

This provides a dynamic working environment with regular engagement with MCA operational colleagues, other Government Departments and Maritime Administrations, as well as industry stakeholders.

Being able to provide leadership and effective people management been a fulfilling opportunity of this role.

Life quote: “If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.” – Steve Jobs

Email Gwilym directly or alternatively connect on LinkedIn.