Shipping Minister David Jamieson has announced the appointment of a new Chief Inspector
of Marine Accidents following an open competition. Stephen Meyer will take up his three-year appointment on August 1 2002 in succession to Rear Admiral John Lang who is retiring.
The Chief Inspector heads the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), the independent body responsible for investigating maritime accidents involving U.K. flagged vessels anywhere in the world and foreign flagged casualties in U.K. waters. Jamieson paid tribute to Lang, saying:
"Mr Lang has raised the profile of the MAIB and in doing so has made mariners and others more aware of the hazards they face. I have been impressed by the energy that he has personally devoted to the regular production of the Safety Digest - an important publication in terms of learning lessons. I also pay tribute to Mr Lang's openness with the families of those tragically affected by marine accidents. I am extremely grateful to Mr Lang who has ensured that the MAIB remains much-respected for its expertise, hard work and independence in accident investigation."
Meyer, 51, has recently left the Royal Navy after 34 years' service. A navigation specialist, he has commanded six warships
, including the amphibious ship HMS FEARLESS, and the aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. As a Rear Admiral, he served first in Bosnia as the Military Adviser to the High Representative, and was subsequently the Commander of UK Maritime Forces (the Royal Navy's Seagoing Admiral). His final appointment in the military was as Chief of Staff in the UK's Permanent Joint Headquarters.