Former maritime leader honoured with Merchant Navy Medal

Former Falkland Islands’ Marine Officer and Harbour Master, Captain Chris Locke has been awarded the Merchant Navy Medal for services to ports and seafarer welfare. 

Chris, who has spent 40 years working in the maritime sector, recently stepped down from his role in the Falklands Islands.  

He has had a long association with the Falkland Islands, arriving there in 1977 with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, as part of a small naval taskforce for Operation Journeyman, He returned as part of the much larger Naval Task Force in 1982 serving in the 10-week conflict caused by Argentina’s invasion of the Falkland Islands. 

He returned to the Falkland Islands becoming its Marine Officer and Harbour Master, working to bring about improvements in maritime. 

Alongside the modernisation of maritime law, Chris has worked with industry and the Port Welfare Group, to highlight and improve seafarers working and living conditions aboard both foreign and Falkland flagged vessels trading within Falkland waters.  

He also brought the Red Ensign Group Conference to the Falkland Islands which he co-chaired with Katy Ware, Director of Maritime Services at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the UK’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization.  

Katy said: “Chris has worked tirelessly in his efforts to support seafarers and he has been rightly recognised for that and for his work in maritime for the Falkland Islands Government. As a seafarer himself, Chris has a real understanding of what it’s like to work on board ships and is perfectly placed to come up with a good approach with how to support them. 

“This is a thoroughly deserved award.” 

Chris Locke said: “I’m genuinely surprised and humbled to have received this award. Maritime has been my life and it’s seemed a natural progression to work to make a difference to help those who are also working in this dangerous environment. I’m very grateful to those who have supported me in my work, my colleagues from over the years, friends and – of course – my wife Nancy.”