DFDS Captain and Crew Awarded IMO Exceptional Bravery at Sea Award

Mike Schuler
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November 20, 2014

Damage to the MV Britannia Seaways in November 2013.

The IMO has awarded Captain Andreas Kristensen and the crew of the MV Britannia Seaways for the 2014 IMO Exceptional Bravery at Sea Award.

Captain Kristensen and his crew were bestowed with the award for their efforts in fighting a raging fire on board the DFSD-operated MV Britannia Seaways in November 2013.

The MV Britannia Seaways was reportedly carrying military jet fuel, vehicles, and other equipment belonging to the Norway’s armed forces when the fire broke out as the vessel sailed through stormy weather in the North Sea. The crew on board fought the fire for about 13 hours as the ship sailed under its own power back to Norway. All 32 people on board, including the crew and military personnel, made it off the vessel unharmed.

Captain Kristensen and his crew were nominated for the award by Denmark for their courage and determination in fighting explosions and fire on board the vessel, at great risk and danger to themselves, and selected as the winners by an appointed Panel of Judges.

The annual Exceptional Bravery at Sea Award was established by the IMO 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.

Previous winners include:

2013: The 2013 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea? was awarded to two rescue swimmers from the United States of America, for saving the lives of 14 crew members from the tall ship HMS Bounty, and, posthumously, to a seafarer from China who died trying to save the life of a ferry passenger. ?

2012: IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea presented to Sergeant Janick Gilbert (posthumously), Master Corporal Max Lahaye Lemay and Master Corporal Marco Journeyman, crew members of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 424 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron, nominated by Canada, in recognition of the exceptional bravery which was displayed by them, in saving the lives of two Inuit hunters stranded in an open boat in icy waters near Igloolik, Nunavut, but which resulted, sadly, in the tragic loss of Sergeant Gilbert’s life; and Able Seaman César Flores, a rescue swimmer in the aerial detachment of the Chilean Navy, nominated by Chile, in recognition of the exceptional bravery which he displayed in rescuing seven survivors from the motor launch Rosita V, in Locos islet, Moraleda Channel, in extremely dangerous weather, and at considerable risk to his own life.
(2012 IMO Awards for Exceptional Bravery at Sea)

2011: IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea presented to Captain Seog Hae-gyun of the Republic of Korea, Master of the chemical tanker Samho Jewelry. Captain Seog was nominated by the Government of the Republic of Korea for his heroic actions to keep his vessel and crew safe, while suffering vicious assaults, following a hijack by pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photos)

2010: IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea presented to Mr. James Fanifau, who was, at the time, Fourth Engineer of the Singapore-flagged general cargo ship Scarlett Lucy, received the Award for his part in the dramatic rescue of two survivors, including Dr. Morgan, from the yacht Sumatra II, in May 2009, amid severe weather conditions in the Tasman Sea.

2009: IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea presented to a professional rescue swimmer, Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Abram A. Heller, who, in Arctic conditions, single-handedly rescued eight crew members of a foundered vessel in the Bering Sea, and to two amateur sailors who rescued three people from a sunken yacht in very heavy weather off a remote South Pacific coral reef.

2008: IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea presented to Brazilian seafarer Mr. Rodolpho Fonseca da Silva Rigueira, of the drill ship Noble Roger Eason for his heroic actions in saving fellow crew members from an explosive fire on a ship.

2007: Inaugural IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea presented to Second Officer Mustafa Topiwala of the oil/bulk ore carrier Searose G and Captain Zvonimir Ostric (who was on the vessel as onboard trainer at the time of the incident) for dramatic rescue of Teklivka crew.

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