Inmarsat-sponsored award recognises rescue efforts

The rescue of the crew of a container ship after an explosion mid-Atlantic has won a Lloyd's List Global Award sponsored by Inmarsat.

The Amver Assisted Rescue at Sea Award was presented by Guy Sear, Inmarsat Head of Business Development, Maritime, at a ceremony in London on 1 October.

“This award recognises the actions of the crew aboard the tanker DS Crown and containership MSC Stella who engaged in an incredible search and rescue effort involving a flotilla of Amver ships and multiple rescue co-ordination centres,” said Guy.

Abandon ship
The crew of the German-registered MSC Flaminia were forced to abandon ship when an explosion ripped through the cargo hold, starting a major fire and claiming the life of one crew member.

Falmouth Coastguard received their mayday and broadcast an alert to all vessels in the area.

Rescue helicopters did not have the endurance required to attend because the stricken vessel was about 1,000 miles (1,600kms) from land, mid-way between the UK and Canada.

Change course
The nearest vessel able to help was the DS Crown, which immediately changed course to intercept the MSC Flaminia.

DS Crown picked up 21 crew from a lifeboat and a life raft. Four who were injured were transferred to the container ship MSC Stella and taken to the Azores for treatment.

Amver, or Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, is a computer-based voluntary reporting system sponsored by the US Coastguard.

It often uses Inmarsat services to send out messages to divert vessels to the aid of ships in difficulties all over the world.

The Lloyd's List Global Awards celebrate achievements across the global maritime industry.

Lloyd's List Global Awards: awards.lloydslist.com