UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has appointed a new Secretary of State’s Representative (SOSRep) for Maritime Salvage & Intervention which oversees the response to accidents at sea.
MCA said on Tuesday that Les Chapman was appointed to the role and joined the Agency on Monday, August 21.
The newly elected SOSRep, Chapman, served in both the UK’s Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. As part of the former, he qualified for nuclear submarine command and held four command appointments.
Over the course of a career spanning the maritime, security and transportation industries, he also worked for Associated British Ports, DNV, and The Maritime Group.
Regarding his appointment, Chapman said: “The SOSRep role can be a difficult but very rewarding one as it’s all about providing protection and safety in the maritime world. I’m looking forward to working alongside Hugh Shaw as I familiarise myself with all aspects of the job.”
Alan Massey, chief executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, added: “We are committed to the safety of life and the environment at sea through safer lives, safer ships, cleaner seas. As we have seen from many serious incidents in UK waters over recent years, the SOSRep has a unique and critical role in rapidly and effectively marshaling the resources of all parties to achieve the best possible outcomes.
“I am delighted we have appointed Les Chapman as our new SOSRep. Les brings highly relevant skills and experience with him, and I am sure he will be an excellent successor to Hugh Shaw, who has done a superb job over the years in growing the effectiveness and influence of the SOSRep role.”
He will work alongside the current SOSRep Hugh Shaw for several months, to allow a transition period for this important role, and will not assume the role and responsibilities of the SOSRep until an agreed time later on in the year.
The SOSRep is responsible for reducing the risk to safety and the environment arising from accidents at sea.
One of the most recent incidents overseen by the current SOSRep Hugh Shaw was the Transocean Winner rig grounding off the Isle of Lewis in 2016. Shaw was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honour, following his work to resolve the Transocean Winner incident in August 2016.
To remind, the Transocean Winner semi-submersible drilling rig ran aground in August 2016 in the UK after having been struck by severe storms during a towing operation of the rig.
After having been aground for weeks, the rig was eventually loaded on a heavy lift vessel and taken to Turkey for scrapping.