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Captain Nick Sloane

“Rising to the Impossible”
Leadership • Managing Diverse Teams • Strategy • Vision • Risk • Adventure

Captain Nick Sloane caught the attention of world media for successfully leading the parbuckling (rotating) of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, wrecked in 2012. He headed up a 500-plus-member team that spent 20 months in Italy plotting how to turn the ship upright.

Working with a vessel three football fields long and twice the size of the Titanic, Nick made waves early on merely for having the gall to attempt the project. A major risk was that the ship would buckle and break, pouring out into the sea thousands of items, from cooking pans to poker tables. But years of experience had prepared Nick for this opportunity.

On 27 July 2014, the Costa Concordia was delivered to its owners in Genoa, ending the biggest salvage operation in history. For his efforts, Nick Sloane was awarded the Bentley’s Infrastructure Hero of the Year Award for this “unprecedented feat” and has been nominated for the Italian Prime Minister’s Cavaliere del Lavoro medal of honour.

As a child, Nick used to sail Durban harbour with his father. He joined Safmarine in 1980, and went on to earn a Master Mariner certificate that allows him to command a ship of any size, anywhere in the world. As a salvage master, he’s been involved in recovery operations in Yemen, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and all over Africa, and come to the rescue of a ship attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

When he’s not sailing, or saving ships, he’s sharing his expertise at conferences around the world, or spending time with his wife and kids, “who have supported me through my strange career.”

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Captain Nick Sloane