Mr. Igor Ponomarev, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to IMO and Chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has died suddenly at the age of 41.
IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos expressed his deep sadness and shock at the news.
“I would like to express my sincerest condolences and those of the entire IMO membership and staff to Mr. Ponomarev’s family,” Mr. Mitropoulos said. “Igor was a great friend and a highly talented young man who had all the necessary background, depth of knowledge, courage and wisdom to take on the challenges and the enormous responsibility of chairing the most senior technical Committee of IMO. We have all been shocked at the devastating news of the unexpected, untimely, unfair and unjust loss of a friend and colleague, whose short life was entirely dedicated to his family and to shipping, of which he was a committed, tireless servant. He will be hugely missed by his family, friends and the whole international shipping community.”
Mr Mitropoulos expresses the shock and loss that all who knew Igor feel. Igor was a charming gentleman and was most helpful in assisting the Alpha Global Expedition to navigate the Russian bureaucracy. The IMO of course is concerned with safety and pollution prevention for commercial shipping but the Russian Federation had previously only granted permission for commercial vessels to navigate the Northern Sea Route and had no established rules to cater for private yachts. Igor was prepared to operate outside his normal brief to help an historic attempt to vertically circumnavigate the globe. He will be sadly missed and our sympathy goes out to his family. Editor