London, Monday, 19 September 2016. For the fifth consecutive year, rescue volunteers from European nations are to participate next week in a seven day Lifeboat Crew Exchange Programme organised by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF).
The well-established programme will include representatives from 13 countries and nine will host a full exchange seven days in their respective locations with each country able to send seven crew members each going to a different country.
Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, will commemorate the untimely passing earlier this year of one of the architects of its Maritime Safety Operations network by sponsoring the first International Maritime Rescue Federation H.E.R.O. Award for outstanding service to maritime search and rescue, 'The Vladimir Maksimov Award'.
The sponsorship is seen as a fitting tribute to Vladimir Maksimov, Inmarsat Manager Maritime Safety Operations, who died on 4th May 2016 after a short illness, following 25 years with Inmarsat. Mr Maksimov played a central role in the Inmarsat safety team.
IMRF immediate past chairman, Michael Vlasto OBE, represented the IMRF at the Merchant Navy Day Commemorative Service and laid a wreath at the Merchant Navy Memorial last week in memory of the contribution and sacrifice of merchant seafarers in the First and Second World Wars. This years service made appropriate reference to the current migrant crisis and recognised those working towards saving them at sea.
The Hellenic Rescue Team (HRT) and Efi Latsoudi, the human rights activist behind “PIKPA village” in Lesvos, will be awarded this year's NANSEN Refugee Award by the UNHCR.
This award is a tremendous honor for volunteerism and at the same time a great legacy for all the volunteers of the organization operating in the branches of HRT in Lesvos, Samos, Kos and the newest of all in Chios, but also to all our volunteers who, in their own way, helped during the refugee crisis. According to an announcement of the UNHCR, the Hellenic Rescue Team was chosen "for its unrelenting efforts to save refugees in distress at sea".
Seven people, 5 women and 2 men, have lost their lives today in one of the most challenging rescues ever conducted by MOAS and Italian Red Cross since the beginning of their joint mission in the Central Mediterranean.
Despite these devastating losses over 354 people are currently safe aboard the MOAS vessel Responder and are now being attended to by the Italian Red Cross post rescue care team. Of these individuals 183 people were rescued from 3 different vessels in distress by the MOAS crew and 171 have been transferred to the Responder from other SAR vessels in the area.