New UK SOSREP appointed

Les Chapman is soon to take over from Hugh Shaw OBE as UK SOSREP (MCA) Les Chapman is soon to take over from Hugh Shaw OBE as UK SOSREP (MCA)

The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency has announced the appointment of a new Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSREP) for maritime salvage and intervention.

Les Chapman has joined the agency and will work alongside the existing SOSREP Hugh Shaw OBE for a transitional period before taking over.

Mr Chapman has an impressive pedigree. Having graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada, he served in the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy including four command appointments in nuclear submarines with the former. His career spanned the maritime, security and transportation industries including with Associated British Ports, DNV and the Maritime Group.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and The Nautical Institute, a liveryman of The Honourable Company of Master Mariners, The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators, The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and a Younger Brother of Trinity House.

The UK’s SOSREP model of casualty management is generally held in high regard globally by all involved during maritime emergencies. The position carries extensive powers and the aim is to simplify and coordinate the often-extensive list of local and national stakeholders involved when maritime casualties threaten the environment, especially if such incidents become salvage or wreck removals. The intention is to avoid ‘salvage by committee’ situations experienced previously with a ‘back him or sack him’ approach taken if governmental decision-making threatens to delay often time-critical operations.

Sir Alan Massey, chief executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said: ‘As we have seen from many serious incidents in UK waters over recent years, the SOSREP has a unique and critical role in rapidly and effectively marshalling the resources of all parties to achieve the best possible outcomes.’

By Peter Barker

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