Mission to Seafarers Sydney has appointed Commodore Christopher ‘Kit’ Rynd to its Board, thanking him for his willingness to contribute his extensive expertise in maritime operations and leadership, as well as his lived experience and understanding as a seafarer.
As with all MTS Board members, Commodore Rynd is volunteering in this role. MTS Sydney Chair Robert Dunn welcomed Commodore Rynd to the Board at the meeting on October 24, 2023.
“Commodore Rynd has extensive expertise in all the key issues the industry is facing and hands-on maritime experience from all over the globe,” Mr Dunn said. “An added bonus for our Board is that he has an insightful, sharp mind which helps him to see the bigger picture as well as a kind heart that genuinely wants the best results for seafarers and makes him a pleasure to work with. We are all looking forward to having him working with us.”
“His contribution will be invaluable as we work to steer the Mission into facing the challenges of the future,” Mr Dunn said.
Now working as a consultant, Commodore Christopher ‘Kit’ Rynd was born in New Zealand and grew up in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Fiji and Samoa. He spent over 45 years at sea, the majority in passenger and cruise ships on worldwide itineraries combined with eight years as a List 1 Reserve Officer in the Royal Navy with service in mine hunters and fisheries protection.
During this career, he also undertook various deployments as instructor, coach and marine auditor. Commodore Rynd’s eighteen years in command included Cunard’s iconic QE2 in 2005, the Queen Mary 2 in 2007 and he was Commodore of Cunard Line in 2011.
Commodore Rynd said he accepted the Board’s invitation to serve because during his time he had seen the ways seafarers all over the world had benefitted from the Mission’s work. “Seafarer wellbeing is integral with seafarer safety and performance,” Kit said. “Supporting seafarers’ mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing is what the Mission is about and to which I wish to contribute my time, training and experience.”
He said that from his own time at sea, he has a good understanding of the busy and often stressful life of a seafarer, of multinational crews and of the demands of the work in all positions on board. “The Mission to Seafarers provides a haven and people who are there for the benefit of seafarers This is particularly helpful when they need someone outside workmates or an employer to talk to, or a break from life aboard to reconnect with their other life. With shorter turnaround times and restrictions for health and security reasons this is more important than ever,” he said.
Commodore Rynd has also served as an Expert Witness in maritime affairs for the High Court of New South Wales and has also carried out on-board audits of corporate vessels for health, environment safety and security compliance. He is currently working as a consultant in maritime affairs with a special interest in Human Factors training and Bridge Resource Management implementation.
In this capacity, he has delivered lectures to Advanced Marine Pilot courses in both Australia and New Zealand and has carried out navigational assessments for two companies operating vessels under the Australian flag. He also mentors under the auspices of the Nautical Institute and the Australian Marine Pilots Institute, is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and contributing writer to ‘Seaways’ on professional maritime subjects.
Mr Dunn said Commodore Rynd’s work on cruise ships will also help the Mission to better cater for and understand the needs of the cruise seafarers who arrive in Sydney ports.