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The Marlin Luanda pictured January 27, 2024, in the Gulf of Aden. Photo courtesy Indian Navy

The tanker Marlin Luanda, carrying Russian naphtha, pictured January 27, 2024 after it was struck by a Houthi missile in the Gulf of Aden. Photo courtesy Indian Navy

Marlin Luanda and Pemex Maya Crews Receive Top IMO Bravery Award

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 0
July 10, 2024

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced the recipients of the 2024 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea award, the highest recognition for bravery in the maritime industry.

The prestigious award will honor two sets of nominees: the Captain and crew of the oil tanker Marlin Luanda, for their heroic efforts in containing a fire after the ship was struck by a anti-ship missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis; and the Captain and crew of the tugboat Pemex Maya, for their rescue of six shipwrecked individuals from four different vessels during a hurricane.

Captain Avhilash Rawat and the crew of the Marlin Luanda, nominated by the Marshall Islands, demonstrated extraordinary courage and determination in coordinating firefighting efforts after an anti-ship ballistic missile struck their vessel in the Gulf of Aden on January 26, 2024. The ship was en route from Suez, Egypt to Incheon, South Korea, carrying 84,147 tons of naphtha, when it was hit. Despite the extreme danger, they contained the fire, ensured crew safety, and maintained the ship’s navigability until assistance arrived.

Captain Jorge Fernando Galaviz Fuentes and the crew of the tugboat Pemex Maya was nominated by Mexico for their outstanding seamanship and resolve in rescuing six shipwrecked individuals during hurricane Otis on October 25, 2023. The hurricane struck Mexico’s Pacific coast as an extremely dangerous category 5 storm. Despite the extreme weather conditions, Captain Galaviz and his crew executed complex rescue maneuvers to save the lives of six individuals adrift at sea, demonstrating remarkable bravery and skill.

In addition to the primary awards, two individuals will receive certificates of commendation for their acts of bravery, and 15 letters of commendation will be sent to other deserving recipients. Nominations were meticulously reviewed by an Assessment Panel, whose recommendations were subsequently considered by a Panel of Judges.

The final selections were endorsed by the IMO Council during its 132nd session taking place this week. A total of 41 nominations were submitted by 15 Member States and three non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the IMO.

The IMO Council commended Captain Rawat and the crew of the Marlin Luanda for their exceptional bravery and leadership, which were instrumental in preventing a potential environmental disaster. The Council also praised Captain Fuentes and the crew of the Pemex Maya for their timely and courageous actions that ensured the survival of six people.

The annual awards ceremony will take place at IMO Headquarters in London on December 2, 2024, during the 109th session of the Maritime Security Committee.

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