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New President for International Salvage Union

The Annual General Meeting of the International Salvage Union (ISU) was held in New York, 01 October 2015. At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr John Witte Jr became the new President of the ISU.

Mr Witte succeeds Mr Leendert Muller, who will continue as a member of the ISU Executive Committee. Mr Muller said: “It has been a privilege to be the President of ISU and to represent the interests of all our members as we have tackled the major issues facing our industry.

“I believe we have made good progress, not least at the European Union on the matter of Places of Refuge for casualty vessels. We have grown our membership and attendance at our events has continued to rise. I am also pleased that we have continued to build our relationships with the insurers – both P&I and property – particularly through our strengthened links with the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI). A few weeks ago I spoke at the IUMI conference and was able to
remind them of the importance of the salvage industry and its great benefit to them in preventing catastrophic loss. For example, in Lloyd’s Open Form salvage cases
alone last year our members saved more than US $1 billion of other peoples’
property.

“I am delighted to be handing over to John Witte who, like me, comes from a family with a long and proud tradition in salvage. John has much experience of the industry
– both as a salvage master and operational manager – and has demonstrated great

commitment to the ISU and to marine salvage and I am sure the leadership of our association will be in good hands.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Witte said: “We all know of Leendert’s strong interest in the traditional salvage business and I should like to thank him for his hard work during his Presidency of ISU. Leendert has ensured that ISU has maintained a high profile and has been an effective trade association and we look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience and contributions to the Executive Committee and the wider ISU.”

“For my part it is a great honour to be the President of the ISU and I will do my best to represent our members’ interests as we continue working on the issues we face and engaging with our stakeholders to make sure that this industry continues to provide a vital service to world shipping.”

Mr Witte is Executive Vice President and Senior Salvage Master of Donjon Marine Co, Inc based at Hillside, New Jersey, USA. The company operates a substantial fleet of tugs, barges and heavy lifting equipment and conducts salvage, towage and wreck removal both in the US and overseas. Donjon also has shipbuilding interests. Mr Witte has worked for Donjon since 1982 where he has day-to-day operational oversight of Donjon’s Marine Salvage, Demolition, Marine Transportation and Heavy Lift Operations. Mr Witte is also Director and General Manager of Donjon’s
shipbuilding and repair facility located on Lake Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a past President of the American Salvage Association.

At the same meeting, Ms Charo Coll Bargues was confirmed as vice President of the
International Salvage Union. Ms Coll is General Manager of the Towage and Salvage Division of Spanish company Boluda Offshore. Ms Coll Bargues has more than 25 years’ experience in the industry and is a former Chair of the European Tug Owners’ Association and is a member of numerous commercial and professional associations.