A leading marine sea safety company has celebrated its 50th anniversary in style – with magic and opera.

Isle of Wight based SeaSafe Systems Ltd organised a gala dinner at the Cowes Yacht Haven. The highlight of the evening was a surprise magic performance, culminating in an opera recital which received a standing ovation from the guests.

The event, held on 14 September, was part of the annual UK Maritime Pilots Association (UKMPA) conference which was also supported by SeaSafe. It was attended by the Association’s President Lord Berkeley, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Shirley Robertson, OBE and many former and working pilots from around the UK and beyond.

Managing Director of SeaSafe, Jeremy Dale, took the opportunity to thank the pilots and their Association for their support and feedback over the company’s 50-year history. The company was built on its unique pilot’s jacket which features a built-in life jacket. He also paid tribute to others who had helped build the company and to two members of staff, Rod Young and Keith Friar, who had been with the company for 25 years.

Much to his surprise Jeremy Dale was then asked to the stage to receive not one but two prestigious awards, an Honorary Fellowship from the Nautical Institute and Lifetime membership of the UKMPA. Philip Wake, CEO of the Nautical Institute, said the Fellowship was the highest Honorary Award and was given for outstanding contribution to maritime standards. He went on to say that that the work of the pilot had been made safer due to SeaSafe’s products and it was no co-incidence that world-wide there had been no pilot fatalities in the last two years.

 The evening also raised money for two charities, the Isle of Wight charity, Miss Isle School of Sip/Puff Sailing and the National Sailor’s Childrens Society.  Natasha Lambert, founder of the Miss Isle charity, was a guest of honour at the event.

Shirley Robertson commented “On behalf of the Lord Lieutenant I would like to welcome all of the Pilots to the Isle of Wight. I really value Jeremy and SeaSafe’s work and his attention to detail. I have been to the factory and seen that attention in action. I applaud the work of the pilots who work out on our waters. I watch and admire them.”

 Commenting on the evening Jeremy Dale said “The Golden Jubilee is a momentous milestone for our company and I was delighted to share it with some of our most valuable customers, the pilots, at the conference and dinner. We have grown as a result of their and other vital feedback. I am still as passionate about safety on the water as I was when I started in the business.  The two-day conference held in and around Cowes was a huge success as was the gala dinner.  A particular highlight of the evening was the opera recital – I have to reveal that my daughter is a professional opera singer and was one of the singers on the night. It made it a very special evening.”