Nominations are now being accepted by IMO for the 2018 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. According to the IMO website this annual Award was established "to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment".
To assess the nominations an Assessment Panel is constructed of members from non governmental organisations in consultative status with IMO, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General. This panel scrutinises the submissions and subsequently, a panel of judges (made up of the Chairs of several IMO bodies) meets to consider the recommendations of the Assessment Panel and to select the recipients.
The winners of the 2017 Award were two members of the Houston Pilots who averted a major tragedy. The ship they were piloting broke down and burst into flames after colliding with mooring dolphins.
The two pilots were faced with a towering wall of burning fuel for almost 90 minutes!
IMO states that: "Pilots Captain Michael G. McGee and Captain Michael C. Phillips showed decisiveness, dedication and ship-handling expertise. As a result of their courageous actions, no lives were lost, serious damage to pier structures and petro-chemical facilities were prevented and a major marine pollution incident was avoided."
Rescue of Migrants at Sea
For the 2017 awards there were also five nominations for incidents involving the rescue of migrants at sea.
The Council agreed that "all those involved in rescuing migrants at sea should be recognised by the Secretary-General for their outstanding humanitarian efforts, and that crews of merchant vessels involved should receive the commendation of the IMO Assembly through certificates of special recognition."
Nominations for 2018
For details of how to nominate someone for the 2018 Award please go to http://www.international-maritime-rescue.org/events/europe/registrations-closing-date-for-the-imo-award-for-exceptional-bravery-at-sea.