The Annual General Meeting of the International Salvage Union (ISU) was held in London (and virtually) 30 November 2021 and the membership confirmed Captain Nicholas Sloane as the new President of the ISU from the end of the meeting.

Captain Sloane succeeds Richard Janssen who will continue as a member of the ISU Executive Committee. Mr Janssen said: “It has been a privilege to be ISU President. Most of my presidency has been conducted under the cloud of the COVID pandemic and restrictions but, like our members, ISU has risen to the challenge and continued to act as the global voice of the industry, serving our members, representing their interests and working on the important issues facing – if not threatening – our sector.

“More than ever I am convinced about how critical our industry is and we have continued to make a great contribution by preventing loss, mitigating risk, protecting the environment and enabling global trade. I hand over the presidency with real confidence to Nick, who is well-known across the shipping industry and beyond. He is a vastly experienced salvor and has a deep personal commitment to our industry and also to the protection of the marine environment.”

Commenting on his appointment, Captain Sloane said: “I would like to thank Richard for his hard work and leadership over the past two years – often in difficult circumstances – he has not only held the industry together but has helped us to make progress on key issues and led the appointment process of our new Legal Advisor and Secretary General.

“I am honoured to represent Resolve on the ISU Executive Committee and it is a privilege for me to take over the leadership position as President of the ISU. I want to see through our commitment to cooperate with insurers recognising that we serve the same clients, the shipowners. I want to vigorously promote our industry and its benefits. In particular, I will emphasise that protection of the environment is such an important aspect of our members’ operations and so crucial in the world today which has rightly put the environment at the top of the international political agenda.”

Captain Sloane, a South African, is a director of international salvage, wreck removal, emergency response and training provider, Resolve Marine of Florida USA. He is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and the International Institute of Marine Surveyors and started his career at sea in 1980 and has worked in many roles, primarily in towage and salvage, rising to become master of the super-tugs John Ross and Wolraad Woltemade and then salvage master. His “case book” includes casualties and wrecks in all classes of ship and oil rigs around the world including leading the team that raised the Costa Concordia from the Italian island of Giglio from 2012 – 2014.

At the same meeting, John Witte was elected as Vice President of the International Salvage Union. Mr Witte is President and CEO of Donjon Marine Co., Inc. of New Jersey, USA. He has more than 40 years’ experience of towage, salvage, heavy lift, marine engineering and shipbuilding and repair. Mr Witte is a past-President of both the American Salvage Association and ISU.

The AGM also heard that ISU has selected James Herbert to succeed ISU Secretary General Roger Evans who is to retire at the end of Q1 2022. Mr Herbert is the long serving communications adviser to ISU. He started his career as a British army officer before training as a BBC journalist. He joined the Shell group rising to head of group media relations where he handled numerous tanker incidents. After a period as a senior UK civil servant, Mr Herbert formed his own communications consultancy specialising in the shipping industry and also providing crisis communications services to shipowners. He has 25 years’ experience of international marine casualty including deploying on site and working with major coastal state authorities including the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the US Coast Guard. He has served the ISU for more than 12 years and transformed the way in which the organisation presents itself. He will combine the Secretary General and corporate communications roles.