THE world of work boats will be focussed on Southampton this week for one of the biggest maritime trade shows in Europe.

Seawork International returns to Mayflower Park tomorrow bringing with it 600 exhibitors from all over the world and more than 7,000 visitors.

The organisers promise more than 10,000 exhibits on and offshore and more than 50 product launches.

Running alongside this year's event will be Speed@Seawork focussing on the design, build and operation of fast vessels which are vital for security interventions, search and rescue and humanitarian purposes.

A conference, with sea trials of the UK’s and Europe’s latest fast vessels, is being held in and around the Solent today and tomorrow.

On Tuesday Seawork itself begins and will opened by maritime minister Nusrat Ghani.

Unmanned surface vessels and hybrid propulsion will be the topics of a new European commercial marine conference taking place at Seawork on Wednesday .

The Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) market is expected to reach around $1 billion by 2022 due to the ever-increasing need for maritime security, ocean mapping and data.

Seawork is the world’s only commercial marine trade exhibition with an on-water feature.

The pontoons are an integral part of Seawork International and make it unique. They are supplied by Southampton based company Walcon Marine.

Vessels being showcased on the pontoons this year include those designed and built for Wind Farm Service, Crew Transfer, Hydrographic Survey, Multi-purpose Workboats; Fast Interceptors, Patrol Craft, Sea RIBs and a Wheelyboat.

Among the floating exhibits at this year's event will be the largest vessel on show in 21 years of Seawork– Trinity House’s Rapid Intervention Vessel (RIV), ALERT.

The At 39.3 metre-long, ship is fitted with a range of high specification survey equipment and is able to respond rapidly to any maritime incident.

While normally focussing on work boats this year there's also a move towards leisure with the Superyacht Build, Repair and Refit Trail .

Among the local firms exhibiting this year are:

Ocean Safety, based in Southampton, are launching a new safety product - U Safe is a remote-controlled float which is used for rescue purposes. It will be demonstrated at the exhibition on the first day of Seawork.

SEASURE, based Warsash will be launching its news range of under seat suspension units

Landau UK, based in Swanwick are celebrating 25 years and launching a new safety product for power boats. The Life Cord uses an alert like a seat belt warning to ensure power boaters wear a safety device which cuts the engine in the event of an emergency.

Sailors' Society, national charity based in Southampton – launching its own range of coffee, BySea - holding a blindfolded competition to guess the country each coffee comes from, with prizes for the winners.