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ISU stresses the vital role of salvors

The focus of the International Salvage Union (ISU) over the coming year will be to promote recognition and appreciation of “the importance of a properly funded salvage sector,” according to its president Richard Janssen, also md of Smit Salvage.

Rather than dwelling nostalgically on the days of “tugs on station” and the “pursuit of LOF [Lloyd’s Open Form terms of remuneration] above other considerations,” the body will now concentrate on helping members become a “credible and trusted… part of the Owner and Underwriter’s risk mitigation chain,” he pledged.

The ISU has already begun the process by carrying out some valuable research in the form of an international survey of more than 100 respondents in the shipping industry, Janssen informed a gathering of press in London yesterday. The results reflected favourably on the ISU which notched up an “overall satisfaction” rating of 7.4 out of 10, he said.

The salvage industry as a whole also scored favourably for being “competent, reliable and safe,” he added, while it recorded a slightly lower rating “but still not bad” for being “trustworthy” and offering “value for money.”

“Our interpretation of the results suggests that we need to increase our interaction with owners and insurers about their present and upcoming challenges and how salvors can support them in that,” commented Janssen.

“We also must continue our drive to ensure high ethical and operational standards. But then again, it takes two to tango…” he wryly observed. 

Janssen finished by saying he wanted to celebrate “the investment that professional salvors continue to make in updating and renewing stockpiles of equipment with a focus on future needs and especially the investment in our people - divers, naval architects, engineers, tug masters and salvage masters.”

After all, it is the ISU members’ professional workforce that forms the “lifeblood” of a sector which helps “save life, protect the environment, mitigate risk and reduce loss,” the ISU president reminded.