Witt O’Brien’s acquisition of Navigate Response

Making our clients better prepared to manage their reputation in a crisis.
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By Bill Lines

We are excited to announce that Navigate Response has been acquired by Witt O’Brien’s, a world-leading provider of crisis response and QI services.

When we launched Navigate Response in 2012, we set out to help solve the crisis communications and media challenges faced by shipowners and managers trading globally. Making our clients better prepared to manage their reputations when a crisis occurs and making them more resilient is at the core of what we do. We’ve been working closely with Witt O’Brien’s since 2018 and they share our passion for helping clients develop resilience. The joining of the two companies brings maritime crisis communicators and operational crisis responders together under one roof for the first time.

Witt O’Brien’s is an innovative US company based in Houston and Washington, D.C. It has been a leader in the maritime industry for 35 years, providing training and exercises, planning, regulatory compliance, communications, port security, Qualified Individual (QI), Incident Management Team (IMT) and Spill Management Team (SMT) services and supporting more than 11,000 ships. Witt O’Brien’s is part of the Seacor family of businesses.

There will be no change to the personalised service our clients and partners expect from us. Our global network and teams in London and Singapore remain the same and will continue to be led by Edward Ion in Singapore; Mike Elsom, Bill Lines and Dustin Eno in London. While our service delivery will not change, there are now many added benefits for our clients.

As part of the Witt O’Brien’s family, our clients will benefit from unparalleled expertise in the challenging North American media market including the closest possible connections with both state and federal agencies.

With access to the infrastructure of one of the world’s leading emergency response companies, our clients can expect the highest standards of operational excellence including, for the first time ever for maritime crisis communications, a fully staffed 24/7 emergency operations centre.

Our close personal working relationships with clients and partners are central to everything we do, and so we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for choosing us as your crisis communications provider and thank you for your continued support. We look forward to continuing to work closely with you in the months and years to come.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or to learn more about this merger and our full suite of crisis and emergency management solutions.

Kind Regards,


Bill Lines
Navigate Response Director

Mike Elsom
Navigate Response Director

Edward Ion
Navigate Response Director


Witt O’Brien’s acquisition FAQ

We’re a client of both companies. What happens now?
Over the coming months we will be initiating a single point of activation for all emergency response and crisis communications to ensure a fast, seamless response to any situation. Our training and exercising programmes will be enhanced through our combined communications and operational expertise.

Will the Navigate Response team be changing?
No. The existing crisis communications teams and global network remain unchanged and the company founders, Mike Elsom, Bill Lines and Edward Ion remain with the company. COO Dustin Eno and the crisis response managers and consultants in both London and Singapore will continue as the primary points of contact for our clients.

We’re a Navigate Response client, but don’t work with Witt O’Brien’s. How will this work?
Navigate will continue to operate as an independent unit. We have worked closely with multiple QIs in the past and we will continue to work with whichever QI our client appoints. Our international teams will continue to be deployed whenever and wherever they are needed whilst our US crisis comms team will continue to involve Navigate’s existing US Gulf, east and west coast teams.

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