Courageous crew wins Inmarsat-sponsored Amver award

A CARGO vessel that helped rescue 246 people has won a Lloyd's List Global Award sponsored by Inmarsat.

The Amver Assisted Rescue at Sea Award was presented by President of Inmarsat Maritime, Frank Coles, at a ceremony in London on 26 September.

The award was received by Captain Vimar Vidanagamage, representing the China Navigation Company.

Passengers rescued
Its vessel, the MV Kwangtung, was diverted using the Amver system to save the lives of passengers from the ferry Rabaul Queen which sank in the Solomon Sea in early February.

The winning crew were at the centre of a search and rescue operation that lasted two days.

The awards judges noted that the officers and crew of the general cargo vessel “displayed impeccable seamanship and courage” which rightly won them much praise in the aftermath of a tragedy which claimed many lives.

Reporting system
Amver is a computer-based voluntary reporting system sponsored by the US Coastguard, which often uses Inmarsat services to send out messages to divert vessels to the aid of ships in difficulties.

Inmarsat head of maritime safety services Peter Blackhurst said: “Our congratulations go to the courage of all those involved in this prolonged rescue.

“We wholeheartedly support the work of Amver and we will continue to provide modes of communication enabling ships to update the position information database which speeds up the search and rescue process.”