ISU appoints new Secretary General and honours former SOSREP

Hugh Shaw receives his honorary life membership from ISU President Ms Charo Coll (ISU)
Hugh Shaw receives his honorary life membership from ISU President Ms Charo Coll (ISU)
Roger Evans is to be the new ISU Secretary General (ISU)
Roger Evans is to be the new ISU Secretary General (ISU)

Two items of news from the International Salvage Union have drawn attention to the value of experienced personnel representing the interests of the industry and overseeing casualty response activity.

Following a recruitment process which attracted what ISU describe as ‘a strong field of well-qualified candidates’ Roger Evans has been selected as its new Secretary General to succeed Mark Hoddinott who retires later this year after six years in the post.

Mr Evans is a former master mariner who served on vessels including reefers, bulk carriers, container and general cargo ships. He joined Smit International in 1985 filling a number of roles including contract manager in London for Smit International, senior contracts manager for Smit Salvage in the Netherlands and, since 2013 as manager for Smit Salvage in the UK.

Mr Evans said: “I am really pleased to be joining ISU and look forward to representing the interests of the Members as we tackle the issues and challenges facing the industry. I have been at the “sharp end” of the salvage business for more than two decades and I know the importance of the role the ISU plays and voice that it has in the shipping industry. It will be a privilege to play my part in leading ISU.”

Separately, ISU has awarded honorary life membership to Hugh Shaw OBE, former UK Secretary of State’s Representative for Marine Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP). At the same time Mr Shaw was also awarded the ISU’s Meritorious Service Award.

The role of SOSREP followed the Sea Empress grounding in 1996. Lord Donaldson’s subsequent review concluded there should be ultimate control of salvage by one person acting in the overriding public interest, involvement of individual ministers and ‘salvage by committee’ being considered undesirable. It was famously stated that while operations were in progress SOSREP must be backed or sacked.

Ms Charo Coll, ISU President said: “His record as UK SOSREP – carefully and wisely managing hundreds of incidents – speaks for itself. His work has been recognised by the Queen with the award of the OBE. The fact that the general public do not know Mr Shaw shows how effective he has been: one mis-managed case and he would be very well known for the wrong reasons.”

By Peter Barker

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