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IMRF Welcomes Australian Alex Barrell as a Trustee at WMRC 2023

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has announced the election of its latest board of trustees following the Quadrennial General Meeting, which took place in Rotterdam in the Netherlands following the World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC) in mid-June.

Jacob Tas, CEO of the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) was elected as Chair, with Cia Sjöstedt, CEO of the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS) elected as Vice-Chair.

Nicholas Stadeler from the German Maritime Rescue Organisation (DGzRS) and Zhang Rongjun from China Rescue and Salvage Bureau (CRS) were both reappointed as Trustees, while Alex Barrell from Marine Rescue New South Wales, Clay Evans (ret) from the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and Captain Jori Nordström from the Finnish Lifeboat Institution (FLBI) were elected as the IMRF’s newest board members.

“It is a pleasure to welcome all of the IMRF’s newest and returning board members. Each of them bring a wealth of experience in maritime search and rescue and truly represent the global nature of the IMRF and its membership,” said Caroline Jupe, CEO of the IMRF.

“The IMRF is an international collaboration of like-minded individuals that are all looking to improve the capabilities of maritime search and rescue organisations to save more lives at sea. As Chair of the Board, I will ensure that the IMRF continues on this path and remains a critical voice in the global SAR community,” said Jacob Tas, Chair of the IMRF.

A full list of the IMRF’s new board of trustees is below:

  • Jacob Tas – Chair
  • Cia Sjöstedt – Vice Chair
  • Nicolaus Stadeler – Trustee
  • Zhang Rongjun – Trustee
  • Alex Barrell – Trustee
  • Clay Evans – Trustee
  • Captain Jori Nordström – Trustee

Alex Barrell

Alex Barrell is currently the Commissioner and CEO of Marine Rescue NSW situated on the east coast of Australia. Alex graduated from the NSW Police Academy in 1994 following a career as a professional lifeguard in Australia and Jersey in the Channel Islands. Alex’s policing career spanned more than 24 years where he served as a general duties officer before specialising as a Police Diver and then a Water Police Master, holding senior roles within the NSW Police Marine Area Command including leading the States marine SAR responsibilities.

Upon leaving the NSW Police Force, Alex took up senior executive roles within government in NSW Maritime leading operational regulatory and compliance teams, and overseeing the State’s marine pollution response capabilities. In 2020 Alex took up the role of Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Capability at Marine Rescue NSW before being promoted to Commissioner in April 2023. Alex maintains commercial seafaring, SAR and Incident Controller qualifications, and is currently a member of various SAR, emergency management and maritime committees within NSW.

Alex is also a member of the Maritime Advisory Council of NSW, which represents the maritime sector in support of the State Government of the day.

Over the last 30 years Alex has participated in and led multiple maritime rescue and large scale emergency operations and is a passionate advocate for the professional and volunteer members of the SAR sector within Australia.

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