After five years at the helm of the IMRF, Theresa Crossley stepped down earlier this year, leaving one of the world’s leading maritime SAR organisations in a much stronger position to play a pivotal role as a leading voice in maritime SAR matters.

Theresa joined the IMRF in November 2017 after stepping down as Executive Director of The United Kingdom Major Ports Group (UKMPG). Her career in the UK’s maritime and transport sector spanned more than three decades, during which her dedication to crew and maritime personnel safety issues was highly regarded.

Her significant experience, guidance and leadership saw the IMRF successfully overcome the challenges that came as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, developing and adopting a more digital and technological approach to effectively maintain and increase engagement with the IMRF’s membership throughout these challenging times. Despite stepping down, Theresa helpfully remained as a consultant to the IMRF to assist with the organisation and running of this year’s World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC) in Rotterdam.

As she finally steps away from the IMRF, Theresa gladly sat down to discuss her time with the organisation and what the experience had meant for her.

“I was first introduced to the world of maritime SAR in 2004. In that time, the belief, enthusiasm, passion and compassion of the maritime SAR community, from the volunteers crewing lifeboats to senior executives, remains a source of inspiration.

“The IMRF has faced a number of challenges over the past few years, including the pandemic, but it is incredibly satisfying coming through the other side of it all and seeing the position the IMRF is in today. Like so many not-for-profit organisations around the world, we had to reinvent ourselves. We’ve become more sensitive to our membership’s needs and become more agile as an organisation. 

“The IMRF is in a fantastic place now, particularly with Caroline Jupe in place as the new CEO to take the IMRF forward and continue to thrive for years to come. I have some met some truly inspirational people from around the world over the past four years, building the profile of women in the maritime SAR sector and helping our membership to become a closer community than ever before.

“I am incredibly proud of the work I have done to help build the profile of the IMRF and I look forward to seeing what the organisation achieves in the coming years. The IMRF has its Centenary next year so there is plenty to look forward to.”  

On behalf of everyone at the IMRF and the wider maritime SAR community around the world we would like to thank Theresa for her invaluable leadership, professionalism and friendship which has been much appreciated by all those concerned with the IMRF and the wider international maritime SAR community. We all wish her a happy and healthy retirement.