Casper Vermeulen, who is retiring as UK Sales Manager for the Damen Shipyards Group, was last week presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Seawork International commercial marine and workboat exhibition held in Southampton, UK. The presentation was made by Andrew Webster, Managing Director of Mercator Media, the company organising the event.
After handing over the award, Mr Webster declared that: "Casper is a very worthy winner of the Seawork European Commercial Marine Lifetime Achievement Award. I was delighted to present it to him. For 20 years he has represented Damen Shipyards with integrity, selling more than 120 vessels into the UK and Eire, and for each of those 20 years he has attended Seawork. He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues and friends.”
Casper himself was unaware that he was going to the receive the award right up until he was introduced to the gathering at the event. Fortunately, as he was already on his way to a Damen-arranged party celebrating his long and illustrious career, he did at least have some suitable words prepared. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve had to give two speeches just ten minutes apart,” he said, followed by, “receiving this is a reward and an honour. It’s a little overwhelming.”
During Seawork Casper received many cards and gifts from members of the UK and Irish maritime industries with whom he has worked with over the years, as well as from many colleagues at Damen. These included the framed text of a speech he delivered some years ago on the delivery of the 80 metre semi-submersible, heavy lift barge Terra Marique to Robert Wynn and Sons, presented to him by Peter Wynn. The organisers of Seawork also gave him a large jug of Pimm’s No.1, a typically British way to celebrate such an occasion!
The Lifetime Achievement Award was a fitting conclusion to a long and productive career that has seen Casper sell Damen vessels to operators right around the coasts of the British Isles. “Given my many visits to Seawork over the years, this was a fitting way to celebrate the end of my time at Damen, in the lovely British Sunshine, enjoying a drink or two surrounded by friends and colleagues,” concluded Casper.
Damen’s sales operations in the UK and Ireland will continue, undertaken by Arjen van Elk, already in position for a number of years, and Frederik van der Linde, who has worked closely with Casper these past few months.