Friday, September 13, 2019

Homage Paid to Bravery, Skill and Technology at Maritime Rescue Awards

Commitment of Those Who Search the Oceans Receive Plaudits
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – UK – Exceptional search and rescue teams, outstanding individuals and innovative technology from around the world have been recognised in the annual International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) Awards, held earlier this week during London International Shipping Week (LISW 2019).

The Awards are aimed at honouring the outstanding commitment of dedicated Search and Rescue (SAR) professionals and volunteers everywhere, whilst also raising awareness of search and rescue techniques, technologies and equipment that can improve SAR capability for the future.

All the search and rescue (SAR) winners and finalists were presented with their awards by Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO CB ADC, a retired Royal Navy officer and husband of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, at a presentation ceremony held on the HQS Wellington. The winners are as follows:

The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations has been awarded to Captain HUANG Zhibin who demonstrated exceptional skill and courage, during the rescue of crew from the cargo ship LINFUNE 16 during a Super Typhoon. The vessel had suffered engine failure, complete loss of power and was stranded near Haimen Bay with nine crew members, who had been trapped on board for more than 24 hours.

The Award for Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations has been presented to Marine Rescue Port Macquarie in Australia for their successful multiagency rescue which took place when a 10 metre motor cruiser hit rocks at speed, resulting in severe injuries to all three passengers.

The Innovation and Technology Award in the Field of Maritime SAR has been presented to Phillip Hanson and the Maritime Coastguard Agency for the agency’s work using drones and other remotely controlled assets to improve future search and rescue operations.

The Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Maritime SAR Sector has been awarded to Arthur Allen of the US Coast Guard for his work over the last 35 years advising the US Coast Guard on the impact of ocean currents and winds on the location of people, vessels or aircraft in distress. The results of his research are used for training around the world and has helped to save countless lives at sea.

The inaugural IMRF’s Women in SAR Award, which was launched this year in support of the IMO’s Empowering Women in Maritime campaign, has been presented to Isobel Tugwell, a young crew member at the RNLI Shoreham Lifeboat Station in the UK.

Isobel joined the RNLI Shoreham crew aged just 17 years old, while studying for her A level exams. With the support of the school, she was given a parking space and approval to leave lessons and join the crew whenever her pager went off alerting her to an emergency at sea. The IMRF describes her as a brave, inspirational, determined young lady whose life ambition is to save lives at sea, while successfully achieving three A* grades in her A level exams.

The IMRF’s People’s Choice Award, which is the nomination securing the most votes from the public on Facebook and Sina Weibo was presented to Coastguard New Zealand, Surf Life Saving Kariotahi, New Zealand Police, Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust, recognising their successful completion of a large, complex multi-agency search and rescue operation to save a man, woman and a child thrown into freezing water when their small boat flipped over.

A Special Recognition Award was presented to David Jardine-Smith for his contribution to the development of international SAR. He is the IMRF’s expert on mass rescue operations and has been the organisations special representative at the IMO. David joined the IMRF in 2010, following a career at sea and many years ashore working with the UK Coastguard, ultimately as the national organisation’s head of search and rescue.

The daughter of Vladimir Maksimov, presenting the IMRF Award for lifetime achievement in her father’s memory, described his life as being dedicated to the service of others, a dedication shared by maritime SAR professionals around the world who together create a legacy that defines what it is to be human. Theresa Crossley, International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) CEO added:

“Natalie Maksimov’s heartfelt tribute to her father and this years’ IMRF Award winners acknowledges the dedication shown by SAR professionals worldwide. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists in this year’s awards. They are an inspiration to us all and demonstrate the incredible skill and expertise of so many SAR professionals around the world, who every day show extraordinary skill and courage in their actions to save lives at sea in all kinds of conditions and weather.”

Photo: Winners of the Awards gather at the side of the River Thames following the ceremonies.