Issued 25th March 2015

Record numbers at ISU Associate Members’ Day Conference

Some 220 delegates registered for the International Salvage Union (ISU) Associate Members’ Day Conference in London. Subjects discussed included Places of Refuge; criminalisation of seafarers and the Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF) salvage contract.

Keynote speaker, Tom Bolt, Performance Management Director, Lloyds, said he recognised that many people do not properly understand LOF and added that Lloyd’s is addressing this with communication initiatives such as a new “video scribe” explaining LOF which he showed to delegates. Click here to view the Lloyd’s LOF video.

Mr Bolt also highlighted the risks presented by cyber attacks including the implications for the operation of individual vessels. He also noted the increase in size of the largest containerships – with a capacity of more than 19,000 teu – and questioned whether there was merit in considering a joint insurance and shipping industry approach to preparing for the possibility of handling vast ships as casualties.

The UK Secretary of State’s Representative for Salvage and Maritime Intervention, (SOSREP) updated the meeting on EU initiatives on Places of Refuge. He said that part of the problem was about to whom approaches for a Place of Refuge should be made. He said that a list of designated contact points and a standard formal request template would help and that, unless it was unsafe to do so, there should be no rejection of a casualty without inspection. Mr Shaw added that new guidelines should be available by the end of 2015.

The conference also included a ceremony at which the ISU’s Meritorious Service Award was presented for the second time. The award is not for bravery and is not issued annually, it is for outstanding service to the salvage industry. The award was made by ISU President, Leendert Muller to the Titan/Micoperi team responsible for the successful conduct of the largest single wreck removal ever undertaken – the parbuckling and refloating of the Costa Concordia. The highly engineered, technically challenging project was carried out in full public view off the island of Giglio in Italy.

In making the award, Mr Muller said: “It was a superbly executed job that brought credit not only to the individuals and companies involved but also to the wider salvage industry. And it therefore gives me great pleasure to make the ISU’s Meritorious Service Award to the Titan-Micoperi Costa Concordia project team, including all the men and woman who played their part.”

Commenting on the success of the conference Mr Muller said: “It has been fantastic to have so many delegates with us today. It reinforces the importance of salvage to the shipping industry and its associated professional services. In particular we were pleased to hear of some progress, at least in Europe, on the issue of Places of Refuge.”