One of shipping’s greatest chroniclers passed away on Sunday. Jonathan Ignarski, known to friends and thousands of readers by his middle name, Sam, died suddenly, aged 64.
Ignarski led the shipping press into the 21st century, even though this was not his original profession. With the creation in 1999 of Bow Wave, a weekly e-zine read by more than 20,000 people from across the world at its peak, Ignarksi gave shipping an irreverent snapshot of events shaping our industry topped with a poem and tailed with a joke.
Educated at Cambridge, Ignarski was a big name in maritime insurance before he jumped into e-publishing. He rose to become partner during a 16-year stint at Thomas Miller, latterly spent in Hong Kong. His years out east served him well, with Ignarski telling readers from the start of Bow Wave that the rise of Asian maritime was inevitable.
As well as Bow Wave, the ever eloququent Ignarski had many writing commitments across a variety of titles, often written with a pseudonym, including his take on the ways of an old school Chinese shipowner, Master Yick.
Among other online creations, Ignarski founded another e-zine, The Maritime Advocate, whose publishers yesterday wrote: “He will be a great loss to the worlds of shipping, transport and journalism.”
Edward Ion, founder of Helix Media, who knew Ignarski from his days as a Hong Kong shipping correspondent in the 1990s, commented: “Sam was one of the first in the London maritime community to understand the power and potential of the Asia markets, particularly China. He was also a true pioneer of the new kind of online shipping media and journalism and there are many who are grateful to him for that.”
Ignarski leaves his widow, Patricia Mary and daughters, Sophie and Marina, as well as a treasure trove of maritime writing accessible here.