Industry lauds Willem de Ruiter in SingaporeTaken from: Tanker Shipping & Trade news desk, 16 October 2012
Day one of Riviera’s Tanker Safety Conference in Singapore saw Willem de Ruiter, the former executive director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), receive the Tanker Shipping & Trade Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr de Ruiter received the award in front of an international audience of charterers, owner/operators, suppliers and other industry colleagues.
In a special tribute, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu saluted Mr de Ruiter’s ‘dedication, diligence and unswerving determination to secure positive outcomes in all matters, over many years.’
As well as his time at EMSA, Mr Sekimizu emphasised Mr de Ruiter’s contribution as a “strong leader to the maritime community and IMO when serving as Head of Unit for Maritime Safety and Protection of the Marine Environment between 1999 and 2003, and for his work in steering Europe’s response to the Erika and Prestige disasters.”
Conference chairman and editor of Tanker Shipping & Trade, Edwin Lampert, highlighted Mr de Ruiter’s extensive role in the 1997 Quality Shipping Campaign, as well as his part in founding the traffic monitoring system SafeSeaNet and pollution and polluter detection system CleanSeaNet.
Accepting the award, Mr de Ruiter said his nomination could not have been an easy one. “You have chosen a regulator of a regional regulatory body, which is not a popular concept among shipowners!
“The choice is therefore all the more touching for me, since it is a token of mutual respect and trust. It is evidence of successfully building a bridge between two different schools of thought.”
Patrick Phoon, president of the Singapore Shipping Association, and Sivaraman Krishnamurthi, vice president (operations) Sanmar Shipping and president of the Nautical Institute, attended the ceremony and was onhand to present Mr de Ruiter with his award (see photo).
The presentation crowned a lively first day of the Tanker Safety Conference. Its ‘presidential style format’ where prepared speeches were kept to a minimum in favour of open debate, was judged a success by attendees. Topics discussed included regulation, training, navigation, the human factor and vetting. The event also saw the return of its popular roundtable discussion group session. Day two looks at commercial safety. The themed debates will include staying financially afloat in tough times, cash flow, capital efficiency versus operational efficiency versus safety, reputation and crisis management.