Theresa Crossley, CEO IMRF, writes:
It is with great pleasure that I write my first contribution to Lifeline as the new CEO of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF).
I have already met some of you at the European Regional Development Meeting in Poole earlier this month and I hope to meet many more of our members and supporters over the coming months.
I want to start by paying tribute to my predecessor, Bruce Reid, who has decided to return to New Zealand after 5 years at the helm of IMRF. Anyone who has met Bruce will know that his dedication to IMRF was total and his enthusiasm for improving global SAR was infectious. He has left some big shoes for me to fill.
I have worked in and around the maritime sector for more than 20 years, first for the UK Government, then for the European Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon and, most recently, for the trade association that represents the UK’s major ports. During that time, sadly, I have been involved in the response to a number of maritime incidents and accidents and I have seen for myself how necessary it is for those responding to maritime incidents to be well organised, adequately equipped and properly trained.
That is why I was delighted to be able to participate in the IMRF H.E.R.O Awards 2017 evening, kindly hosted by the RNLI on 2 November 2017. It was a great honour to meet so many committed individuals and representatives of organisations from around the world.
Please take a moment to read the winners’ stories. We send our congratulations to all those who were nominated or shortlisted and, of course, to our worthy winners.
Although I formally took up my post on 30 October 2017, earlier that month I joined the IMRF Trustees for their meeting in the APRC offices in Shanghai. The meeting was arranged to coincide with the APRC’s own Board meeting, which gave an opportunity for the Board members of both organisations to exchange views on topics of common interest, such as training and regional cooperation. We were made to feel very welcome by the APRC secretariat and by the Donghai Rescue Bureau, China Rescue & Salvage, and the Chinese Ministry of Transport.
IMRF aims to add value to the work done by individual members, by facilitating the sharing of SAR operational excellence around the globe. Looking ahead, there are many training sessions and other events planned for the coming year, and we are already gearing up for the next World Maritime Rescue Congress in Vancouver in June 2019. It’s an exciting time to be joining IMRF, and there is certainly plenty to do.
I’m looking forward to working with you all.