Remembering George Penman

George Penman

WCMRC mourns the loss of a West Coast spill response legend. George Penman passed away on Saturday, April 26th. George was an icon at WCMRC and his knowledge, reputation and dedication left a lasting legacy on the spill response industry and those he worked with.

George began his spill response career in 1980 with Sprayaway Enterprises, where  his background in the deep sea marine sector proved invaluable. At the time, Sprayaway was one of Burrard Clean’s largest contractors and responded to the majority of marine oil spills in Vancouver Harbour. George also maintained Burrard Clean’s equipment on a regular basis.

Burrard Clean hired George full time in 1989 and he was soon responsible for maintaining all the organization’s equipment in the Lower Mainland. When the Canada Shipping Act amendments came into effect in 1995, George was a key player in establishing Burrard Clean’s successor – Western Canada Marine Response Corporation.

As part of the new regime, George relocated to Vancouver Island to establish WCMRC’s first base outside of Vancouver Harbour. He was responsible for the entire island and spent a lot of his time on the road in his pickup truck, which he called his ‘portable office.’ George kept the equipment in ‘ship shape’ and was well respected by all the contractors he worked with. He was  most knowledgeable on pumping procedures and product transfer protocols. As WCMRC’s operations on the island grew, so did George’s role. He became Area Manager in 2002 and Operations Manager in 2004.

At the time of his passing, George still occupied the role of Operations Manager on Vancouver Island. For all those who were fortunate enough to have worked with George, he will be remembered fondly.

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