CAPTAIN Hans Walenkamp has been appointed Smit International's group director, maritime contracting. He will have responsibility for the co-ordination of salvage activities worldwide. Captain Walenkamp has held a number of senior posts at Rotterdam-based Smit since joining the group in 1972. Prior to his new appointment, he was managing director of Smit Fleet Services and responsible for the operational management of some 80 vessels. Captain Walenkamp went to sea in 1956 with Royal Rotterdam Lloyd and served with this fleet unit joining Smit as assistant salvage officer in 1972, becoming senior salvage officer in 1981. A year later, he headed Smit Tak's nautical department. Capt Walenkamp has been responsible for a considerable number of major salvage and towage operations worldwide, including the salvage of the capsized ferry Herald of Free Enterprise. For his outstanding contribution he was awarded the De Ruyter Medal, the highest decoration for a merchant mariner in peacetime. In his new role, he will work closely with Smith Tak manager Geert Koffeman, who has responsibility for commercial and operational salvage matters. Capt Walenkamp succeeds Klaas Reinigert, who recently joined the Langeberg Group of Amsterdam as president and chief executive officer.