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IMO technical chief Ponomarev laid to rest

St Petersburg: On a freezing cold but beautifully sunny day that had all the golden spires of what he habitually called 'the most beautiful city in the world' sparkle against the blue sky, native son Igor Ponomarev was laid to rest.

The chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee, the IMO's most important technical committee, who died last week at the tragically young age of 41, was buried in full uniform in the old cemetry of the magnificent Russian baroque St Nicholas Naval Cathedral, also known as the sailors' church, on Saturday November 4. The church was packed with friends and industry colleagues, as well as official representatives of the Russian government, including the Minister of Transport, and of the IMO.

Ponomarev had previously worked with the Russian Register of Shipping and served as chairman of the International Society of Classification Societies (IACS) before becoming Russia's permanent representative to the IMO.

Today delegates from around the world gathering for the half-yearly session of the IMO's executive council in London will have the opportunity to bow their heads in deep respect for a man whose diplomatic skills and easy good humour had him marked out for a long and glittering career with the Organisation. A book of condolences has been opened at the Russian Mission in London and a memorial service will be held in London in the very near future. [06/11/06]

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