The Annual General Meeting of the International Salvage Union (ISU) was held in London, 19 September 2019 and the meeting elected Mr Richard Janssen as the new President of the ISU.

Mr Janssen succeeds Ms Charo Coll who will continue as a member of the ISU Executive Committee.  Ms Coll said: “I have been delighted to be the President. I am proud of the fact that we have begun to re-position the industry and to demonstrate the great contribution our members make to the marine industries by preventing loss, mitigating risk, protecting the environment and enabling global trade. We are a vital industry. I hand over the Presidency with great confidence to Richard and I know he will be an excellent leader of ISU. He has great experience of all aspects of marine salvage.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Janssen said: “I would like to thank Charo for her hard work for ISU over the past two years, she has shown real leadership to address the strategic positioning of the industry. It is a great honour to be the President of the ISU which we want to be the credible, trusted and unified global voice of its members. I want to see through our commitment to encourage high standards of operation and conduct, to promote the value and benefit of our members’ services and to engage with shipowners, insurers and other key stakeholders. We will continue to work with inter-governmental organisations to improve delivery of marine services and safety at sea and we will enhance ISU’s reputation as a source of information and expertise and promote best practice.”

Mr Janssen is the Managing Director of Smit Salvage and he has 25 years’ experience of the marine salvage, towage, offshore and energy sectors. It includes involvement as part of the Smit teams that delivered many well-known and complex salvage and wreck removal cases often with innovative engineering and pollution prevention requirements. Mr Janssen’s experience includes the Ievoil Sun, Kursk, Ehime Maru, Tricolor, MSC Chitra, Troll, Modern Express and Maersk Honam.

Richard grew up in Rotterdam in a family with a strong history in towage, harbour work as well as heavy lifting and transport; he spent most of his spare time on tugs, big pushers, in shipyards and working with heavy machinery. He studied business in Rotterdam and has undertaken a number of international commercial, contracting, subsea engineering and management courses. He was a member of the ISU’s Salvage sub-Committee and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2015.

At the same meeting, Mr Peter Pietka was elected as Vice President of the International Salvage Union. Mr Pietka is CEO of Ardent, the international salvage and offshore decommissioning company formed in 2015 by the merger of Svitzer Salvage and Titan Salvage. Mr Pietka has 30 years’ experience in the maritime industry, primarily working for the Maersk Group.