The U.S. maritime industry publicly recognized the merchant mariners responsible for safe ship operations at the Annual Safety Awards Luncheon held on June 7, 2017. In all, 211 people, representing 53 companies and their subsidiaries attended the annual industry-sponsored event where 1,582 vessels with 10,604 cumulative years of accident free operation were recognized.
Since 1958, the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) has also sponsored the Safety Achievement Award program which recognizes outstanding feats of safety that contribute to saving a life, a ship or other property. This was the 59th anniversary of the program.
In opening remarks, Kathy Metcalf, CSA President, said, “CSA’s members are committed to safe operations and CSA’s involvement in safety is longstanding with our ongoing commitment to represent the industry, domestically and internationally, on safety issues encompassing every facet of ship operations. It is only fitting that an industry so focused on safety, publicly recognizes the skills and dedication of the women and men who have enabled these many years of safe operations and who are responsible for actions in keeping with the highest traditions of the sea – aid to those in peril.”
This year, two ships received top honors: M/V Eastern Confidence and M/V Em Coral.
The M/V Eastern Confidence of Orient Shipping Rotterdam BV diverted to respond to a distress call where approximately 600 migrants had been transferred to a small wooden boat in the Mediterranean Sea and it capsized. The crew encountered a horrific scene where over 500 perished and was able to embark 41 survivors.
The M/V Em Coral of Everest Shipping PTE also received top honors for an instance when its crew spotted a cloud of smoke and diverted to find a fishing vessel on fire and fishermen in the water. The crew rescued 17 fisherman, but two others drifted away in deteriorating weather. The crew relentlessly continued their search in the darkness eventually rescuing the remaining two.
In addition, this year several ships received citations of merit.
The British Mariner of BP Shipping Ltd. won this award for their attentiveness and quick actions of May 28, 2016 when the crew heard cries for help while the tanker was discharging cargo, the crew heard cries for help. The crew sighted a capsized dinghy 200 meters off the seaside of the vessel with two individuals in the water. They promptly sprung to action, launched the rescue boat and recovered then treated the two individuals until the ambulance arrived.
The Overseas Long Beach of OSG Ship Management, Inc. for their astute actions on September 19, 2016 WNW of Key West while on deck, the crew heard and was able to spot a man in the water off the port side. The crew commenced Man Overboard Operations and recued a fisherman who had been floating for five days with only a wooden plank and two life jackets. They administered lifesaving treatment until the U. S. Coast Guard airlifted the fisherman to a hospital.
Citations of merits were also awarded to the M/ Orfeas, M/V Maersk Kentucky and CSCL Manzanillo.
Letters of commendation were awarded to the British Mariner, British Eagle, M/V Jennifer Schepers, M/V Amphitrite and CSCL Africa.