The ocean is not for the faint-hearted. And that’s where heroes are made.
Since 2007, the IMO awarded individuals who displayed exceptional bravery at sea under extreme situations.
These people put their lives on the line to rescue others in distress or prevent a major catastrophe from happening.
Seafarers, Ship Masters, pilots, rescue swimmers, aviators, and divers have been awarded for 14 straight years already.
Operating from different parts of the seas, all of them have one thing in common. They showed extraordinary heroism despite the odds being in their favor.
Such acts must be made during the period 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2022.
Who is allowed to join?
The IMO will confer such awards to individuals or groups of individuals who showed exceptional courage at sea.
Specifically, such persons must have performed extraordinary bravery in attempting to save life at sea or preventing damage to the marine environment at the risk of their own life.
Following an amendment to the award guidelines, nomination criteria also involve extraordinary seamanship skills in very difficult conditions or any other display of outstanding courage at sea.
Nominated rescues should occur at sea or those rescued should emanate from a vessel except in the most extraordinary circumstances
Who can nominate these heroes?
There are three bodies allowed to nominate individuals or groups of individuals who displayed exceptional heroism.
These are the following:
- United Nations Member States
- Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs); and/or
- Non-governmental international organizations in consultative status with IMO.
They should address their nominations to the Secretary-General. It should provide a full description of the circumstances and events giving rise to the nomination.
Their submission should include the following factors:
1) location of the incident;
2) prevailing weather conditions;
3) skill displayed;
4) leadership demonstrated;
5) determination to conduct the rescue operation;
6) exceptional courage demonstrated;
7) degree of risk (to human lives and/or the marine environment) involved; as well as
8) any other information supporting the nomination
Nominations are open until 15 April 2022.
The awarding ceremony will be held during World Maritime Day in September 2022. Otherwise, they will celebrate on another major IMO occasion on a determined date.
Three Award Categories
There are three categories of honor during the awarding ceremony.
First is the award itself for the most exceptional act of bravery conducted at sea.
Secondly, certificates of commendation are given to nominees who have committed acts of extraordinary bravery.
Thirdly, the judges will send out letters of commendation to those nominees who deserve some special recognition for meritorious actions.