Ports group supports Beirut colleagues following devastating explosion

Khalid Mahdy

Maritime group Peel Ports is supporting colleagues in Lebanon following the devastating explosion at Beirut port earlier this month.

In an offer of solidarity and support, Peel Ports, in conjunction with Portia Management, will be providing assistance through the secondment of an experienced QSHE (quality, safety, health and environment) officer – Khalid Mahdy – to support ongoing operations now the terminal has reopened.

Khalid Mahdy, currently based at the Port of Liverpool, will be leaving the UK to spend a number of weeks in Beirut to assist with the operation.

Like many others across the globe, on hearing the news of the explosion on August 4, Peel Ports said it was saddened to hear the extent of the tragedy and was eager to offer help and support.

Khalid’s mobilisation is particularly poignant as he has extensive experience of the Beirut Container Terminal, having held roles within the terminal itself and has many long-term friendships, sadly including missing colleagues affected by the blast.

Khalid, a fluent Arabic speaker, is a qualified trainer at the Port of Liverpool’s container division and has the highest standards of IOSH Health and Safety qualifications.

His main role as part of the secondment in Beirut will be primarily on supervision and control of the yard.

David Huck, managing director, Group Ports, said: “Our thoughts are with those affected and the families of the victims from this catastrophic explosion.

“We have supported the Port of Beirut over the years along with Portia management and our immediate thought was to offer help to share the burden that our Lebanese colleagues may face.

“I hope the gesture of seconding Khalid, one of our most experienced officers, may offer some respite and support in the task of building up of the operations both on vessel and landside.”

Khalid Mahdy said: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of former friends and my sympathies go out to their families and friends.

“I am honoured that I can assist Portia and BCTC in these most extreme of circumstances.

“I have seen first-hand my friends and colleagues in Beirut face and overcome numerous hurdles down the years and so am confident that with the right support, their resilience, along with that of the people of Lebanon, will see them through this unprecedented time.”

Upon return from the operation, Khalid will commence quarantine before returning to his current role at the Port of Liverpool in late September.