This page contains tributes to those colleagues and friends of CIRM who have passed away.

Nanda Kumar Krishnan

Nanda Kumar Krishnan (Navtek/ElectronikLab)

CIRM is sad to report the sudden passing of Nanda Kumar Krishnan of ElectronikLab/Navtek, our member company based in Chennai, India.

In early May 2021 Nanda’s colleagues informed us that he had ‘left for his Home in the Sky’. We are shocked by this sudden loss, having been informed that the COVID-19 virus overtook him in the space of three days.

Nanda was a long-time member of CIRM, and regular attendee of CIRM conferences, where his unique personality and sense of humour contributed to the friendly and convivial atmosphere of those meetings.

Nanda was an interesting person and an avid collector, amassing an enormous library of items, including maps and vintage comic books. We recall fondly a particular CIRM conference during which Nanda popped out over a lunch break to source some rare comic books from a local bookstore. The comics he acquired on that occasion filled an entire suitcase.

So many people, who were close to Nanda, have written about his hospitality, generosity, his kind heart and the wide support he gave to others. These are all qualities that we, amongst the CIRM family, knew and appreciated too.

CIRM have sent a letter of condolence to Nanda’s family and, if you knew him, we simply ask that you remember him in your own way.

He will be missed

RADM Marshall Edward Gilbert

Ed Gilbert
Rear Admiral Marshall Edward Gilbert (USCG)

In June 2020 CIRM learned of the unexpected loss of the RTCM Vice-Chairman, RADM Marshall Edward Gilbert, USCG (ret.). Ed was a good friend to many of us and supported CIRM's work. He was gentle, had kind ways, but people did what he asked and were pleased to have done so.

A note from Ed's family: On June 4th, 2020, RADM Marshall Edward Gilbert, (ret.) passed away peacefully in his home after just celebrating a happy 62 year anniversary with his loving wife Melinda. He is survived by his two daughters, sister, six grandchildren & two great-grandchildren. Ed served 35 years in the Coast Guard before starting his own company Gilbert and Associates. He will be remembered fondly for his quick wit, sharp intellect, and passion for golf. We will personally remember him for the warmth and love he brought to all of us in his close family, and the memory of the sheer joy he found in his family and children. We will be hosting an open-house visitation on June 13th from 11:00am until 1:00pm at Murphy’s Funeral Home in Arlington. There will be a Memorial Service in the late fall and he will be ultimately laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Chris Hoffman wrote to us as follows: Ed was an extraordinary man, who meant so much to so many - family, friends, classmates, shipmates and maritime colleagues around the world. I understand that he passed away in his sleep from a suspected heart attack, he was 83. Ed has been a real pillar for me in recent years, being on hand in DC he stood in for me a lot of the time and did more than his fair share of the work as Vice Chairman of RTCM, he will be sorely missed. Our hearts and sincerest condolences go out to his wonderful wife and family.

Andy Fuller

Known for many years by plenty of us, old friend Andy Fuller died 26th April 2020.

Andy Fuller
Andy Fuller (right) at the IMO


Chris Wortham

Old friend and colleague Chris Wortham passed away in early 2020.

Chris was a real down to earth type of bloke, who joined Inmarsat in the late "Marisat" days when it was owned by Inter-Governmental Agencies and although better connected and more knowledgeable than many of his colleagues, he would typically let others represent Inmarsat because (on behalf of Inmarsat) he was often tied up as a Professor at one of the Maritime Universities.

Chris Wortham
Chris Wortham, formerly of Inmarsat

A cancer scare led him to take early retirement - "retirement the sooner the better" as he said after he had the all clear. The Secretariat can remember Chris working at the IMO, even when unwell but always smiling – just like his picture here.

Jim Moon spent many days with both Chris and the late Vladimir Maksimov sorting out Inmarsat-C in the early days (before and after Inmarsat moved from Euston Square to the current Inmarsat HQ.) Chris was at Inmarsat for many years.

Chris supported the RNLI, a charity close to his heart, through much of his life. Instead of flowers, donations are welcome to or the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Ellenor were a great support to Chris, Wendy and family over the last few months and provided wonderful care to Chris during his stay at their Hospice. The majority of Ellenor's funding is from charitable donations.

The Funeral service will be held at Kemnal Park Cemetery Cemetery (A20 Sidcup Bypass Chislehurst BR7 6RR) on Friday 14th February 2020 at 3:30 pm. The reception is at 5pm at The Clocktower Pavilion St Mary's Road Swanley BR8 7BU (Link).

Holger Mahnke

We are sorry to report that Holger Mahnke passed away in September 2019.

Holger served as a Director of CIRM for over four years in total across two separate periods, first representing SAM Electronics and later Wartsila SAM Electronics.

Holger Mahnke of Wartsila SAM Electronics
Holger Mahnke of Wartsila SAM Electronics

He was hardworking, humorous and generous with his time. His working life in latter years had not been particularly easy, with many company changes altering his patterns and direction, but he managed these changes with his usual grace.

We remember him as a kind and considerate man with moderate views, but one who always was ready to help whenever he could. He was particularly good in a one to one situation, always being ready to appreciate another point of view.

His family was important to him and he was very much looking forward to retirement and spending more time with them.

We will truly miss Holger’s presence and have passed our condolences to his family.

Peter Griffiths

We are sorry to report that Peter Griffiths died on 4th July 2019 at the age of 92. Peter was a long-term supporter of CIRM’s work and a previous Secretary of IEC TC80 (the technical committee for maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment and systems of the International Electrotechnical Commission).

Peter qualified in mathematics and physics and joined the Royal Naval Scientific Service where he was concerned with the development of naval radar and radio systems. He was involved in radio satellite, sonar and inertial navigation systems.

Peter Griffiths as Secretary of IEC TC80
Peter Griffiths as Secretary of IEC TC80

Peter’s scientific work for the UK Government took him around the world. He spent some time living in Hong Kong, and Cocoa Beach in Florida, where he worked on the Apollo Program at Cape Canaveral.

Peter set up a test facility for the UK at Fraser Range in Eastney near Southsea to type approve navigational equipment against standards developed by the IMO. Fraser Range handled all the UK type approvals until the process was privatised in the 1990s.

When he retired from the Royal Naval Scientific Service in 1986, he was invited to take on the role of Secretary of IEC TC80 and subsequently held the post for the next eleven years.

Staying busy in retirement, Peter also worked as a consultant for the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and QinetiQ. One CIRM Member recalls meeting him at QinetiQ Funtington about fifteen years ago and having a long chat... Peter had been putting off buying a new car ‘just in case it wasn't worth it’ (he must have been about 75 years old at the time), but in the end had purchased an almost new BMW saying he ‘hoped he'd get some use out of it’ – and, he then kept it for more than twelve years, until it needed replacing.

Peter was a mine of information, especially on spectrum management and radar emissions, and used this to good effect at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He was involved with several ITU studies, mainly relating to radar interference and he continued to assist radar manufacturing companies until his 90th year.

He leaves a daughter, a son and a long-term partner to whom we send our condolences. The funeral was held at the Wessex Vale Crematorium on 25th July 2019, CIRM being represented by Phil Lane.

Paul Devlin

Paul Devlin was a close friend to many of us. His company Fulcrum Maritime Services joined CIRM back in 2008 when the industry was busy setting up the LRIT system – something that interested him and which subsequently became a significant part of their business.

We were very saddened to learn of Paul’s illness in 2017 and although he became very unwell in the last few months, he continued to work as much as possible whilst receiving treatment. He never stopped giving all he could to his family, friends and colleagues and it was typical of him to remain mentally strong and determined to the end. We will miss his cheerful grin and drive to succeed in life.

Young at 54, Paul leaves his wife Debbie and boys, Elliot, 8, Finlay, 10, Kieran, 17 and Joshua 20, and asked for any donations to be given to Little Haven's hospice

The funeral was held on 16th May 2018 and was attended by 120 family and friends (including Frances representing CIRM).

Vladimir Maksimov

Vladimir Maksimov at an IMO meeting

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our colleague and friend, Mr Vladimir Maksimov of Inmarsat, on Wednesday 4th May 2016. Vladimir was a long-time participant in the work CIRM and many of us knew him well.

Mike Fox

Michael Peter Fox was Secretary-General of CIRM from 1991 – 1995. He first joined CIRM in 1988 as assistant to the then Secretary-General Cedric Wake-Walker before taking over in 1991 as Secretary-General when Cedric retired. He in turn handed over to the next Secretary-General Chris Cobley in 1995 on retirement but maintained a close involvement with CIRM particularly doing the book keeping for a further five years.

CIRM at the time held two meetings a year, a winter meeting usually held in London in the Inmarsat building and a summer meeting which was held elsewhere in the world. Mike as Secretary-General first took CIRM to Japan in 1992 for the Tokyo meeting. His last meeting was in Seattle USA in 1995. The following year 1996 the winter meeting was the 100th CIRM meeting which was celebrated by a dinner in the Painted Hall in the Royal Naval College Greenwich London.

CIRM had become active in the work of the IEC and had in fact taken responsibility for funding the TC80 Secretariat. Mike in particular took on the Convenorship of IEC TC80 WG6 dealing with interfaces and did the pioneering work with Larry Anderson of NMEA for IEC 61162-1, the first edition of which was published in 1995. He continued with IEC work and dealt with the outcome of the Royal Majesty grounding (June 10 1995) which led to the second edition of IEC 61162-1.

Michael Peter Fox was born on the 21st March 1930 in Shipley Yorkshire. His father Cecil Fox was a legal clerk and he had a brother Howard. He was educated at Keighley Boys Grammar School then took an external London degree in Electrical Engineering and became a Chartered Electrical Engineer.

In 1952 he went to Cambridge to the electronics company Pye and worked on their HiFi products, mobile radio products and experimental colour TV. While in Cambridge he met his wife Joan and they married in 1956 and had two daughters Angela and Sue.

From Cambridge he moved to Hawker Siddeley in Gloucester and worked on electro-hydraulic systems and then to Associated Electrical Industries in Leicester in marketing services but he is best remembered for his move to Wokingham in the late 1960s where he joined Sperry Marine in Bracknell. He became their Marketing Manager and stayed with the company until 1986 when Sperry closed in Britain and redundancy forced him to leave when aged 56. He had been engaged on naval and civil work and had travelled extensively for the company to Russia, Germany and the USA. His subsequent life was as a Schools Liaison Officer and with CIRM.

He was very organised, meticulous with details, had a great appetite for life and was always fun to be with. He lived life to the full with many interests including painting, Probus and steam railways. He was Captain of the Golf Club in Bracknell, the Chairman for the IEE Reading area and a trustee of the IEE Benevolent Fund.

In 2002 he moved from Wokingham to Bridport in Dorset living in a flat converted from an old military barracks. He still travelled extensively and generally enjoyed a cruise a year.

He died on the 4th March 2016 after a short illness in Sydney Australia where he was visiting friends prior to joining a cruise ship home. He was just short of his 86th Birthday. His wife had predeceased him in 1988 and he is survived by his two daughters and four grandchildren.

Kim Fisher May 2016

Dave Walsh

Once you met Dave Walsh you never forgot him! He was renowned for his dress code of oversize braces and when speaking he was invariably blunt with a very dry sense of humour.

Dave at the CIRM Annual Conference in Dublin, 2008

John David Walsh was born in Bolton Lancashire of a mining family as an only child. Because of the blitz his mother took him to live with grandparents in County Mayo Ireland. After the war as a child he went back to his grandparents for holidays being put on the ferry in Liverpool with a cardboard nametag hanging around his neck on a string. This experience seemed to give him an interest in the Merchant Navy and he trained as Radio Officer for Kelvin Hughes.

He met his wife Madeline when on a South African ship which docked in Cardiff. He came ashore shortly after marrying and worked variously for Kelvin Hughes, SAIT, Raytheon and Marconi Marine before setting up his own company offering consultancy in equipment type approval.

After 25 years living in Holycroft Little Barrow Essex his wife persuaded him to move to Wales and they lived in Porthcawl from 2000. Here he was involved in the parish activities of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, the Coastwatch and the RNLI.

He had a history of being overweight and smoking and suffered a stroke in 2013. However his death was unexpected on Sunday 19 July 2015 when he died after lunch, aged 72.

He is survived by his wife and 3 children, Shaun, Elin and Jack.

Dennis London

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dennis London on March 18th at Oakhaven Hospice, Lymington after a brave battle with cancer.

Dennis started his working life in Lotus cars, becoming a Formula 1 mechanic. His love of motorsport was lifelong. His international marine industry sales career began with Dunlop Inflatables. In the early 1980’s he changed to the safety side of the industry with a move to Pains Wessex, then moving to McMurdo. For 5 years he ran his own company, importing inflatables.

From 1995 he worked for ACR Electronics for 17 years before his retirement in 2012. He continued agency work, for Ocean Signal, until his death. He was known for his honesty and integrity by his customers and colleagues, but also his sense of fun. Dennis also played in the marine world enjoying ‘bigboat’ cruising and racing, competing in offshore races and a Fastnet, and was a keen and active member of Lymington Town Sailing Club. He will be very much missed by his many worldwide colleagues, friends and family.

His wife Moira, daughter Tamzine and son Mark were with him to the end.

John Beattie

John Humphrey Beattie FRIN FNI died on 26 June 2014, at the age of 86.

John was educated at Shrewsbury School and then joined the Navy, intending to make it his career but deteriorating eyesight prevented this and he was eventually invalided out after 12 years' service, during which he won a number of prizes including the Beaufort and Wharton Testimonial for Navigation, one of the oldest naval prizes. He spent much of his later naval dme as a Torpedo Anti-submarine tutor at HMS Osprey and Liaison Officer at Portland. He did not restrict himself to watery matters - he soloed in a Tiger Moth and later had opportunities to try his hand at navigating Fireflies and a Sea Otter. His interest in air navigation started then and became an enduring one. After he left the navy he maintained his close naval links and became the unofficial Naval Archivist for the Special and Direct Entry System (1913-1955). This led to an invitation by the Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Lewin to prepare a Book of Remembrance for the 440 Special Entry Cadets who died in the two World Wars. It took him three years to compile and it was dedicated at RNC Dartmouth in 1992. He once said: 'I thought it was a great privilege to have served in die Senior Service, and this gave me a wonderful start in life'. It was clear that he had a great affection for the Service which he never lost.

In 1957 he joined Decca Radar Ltd and made a second career there where he often said he considered himself privileged to be working with engineers to create electronic products that would create safety at sea. When he retired from Racal Marine (the successors to Decca) in 1993 from his post as Corporate Marketing Manager, Marine Policy, he went on to work as a consultant on many different products such as radar, electronic charts, ship's black boxes, satellite communications and navigation and night vision equipment, finally ceasing work in 2000 aged 72.

During his time at Decca he undertook work on ship routeing entirely on his own initiative, starting with a seminal paper presented at Kiel to the Ausschuss fiir Funkortung in 1960 where he put forward a series of concepts and ideas which deeply influenced the principles of ship routing which have now been adopted internationally. He was the first to undertake a systematic collation and analysis of worldwide marine collision statistics and interpret them in relation to traffic density and traffic flow. This required some mathematical skill, and indeed one of his papers was read at the Institute of Mathematics.

During this time, John collaborated closely with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Electronics Council (lEC), where he helped to develop more than 25 navigational safety operational standards and he also acted as the Comite Internationale Radio Maritime (CIRM) Radar Rapporteur. In 1999 he was the first person to be awarded Honorary Life Membership of the CIRM, the organisation through which he influenced the standards adopted by the IMO. He produced 45 professional papers and many more unpublished papers on radio navigation, charting and marine electronics. Not satisfied with all his other activities he was also a member and Treasurer of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (lALA) for a number of years.

He married Carol in 1961, who survives him, as do his two daughters, Fiona and Nicola. They remember him for his love and devotion, his enjoyment of sport, travel and ornithology and his dry sense of humour. John always wanted mariners to have the best and he wanted them to fully understand the equipment they were using. That was his mission in life. He was highly capable and many of his innovations still enhance maritime safety today. He was a friend to many people, much respected, and he will be sadly missed.