Satnews Daily
September 22nd, 2011

Inmarsat... Rescue @ Sea (SATCOM)

[SatNews] Two vessels received this Inmarsat-sponsored award for their rescue of 64 from a capsized tall ship...

An Inmarsat-sponsored award which recognizes extraordinary courage and seamanship has been presented to two vessels which came to the rescue of a party of students after their sailing ship sank. When the Canadian tall ship Concordia capsized in high winds 547 kms (340 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro last February, there were 64 young people on board taking part in an education program. The Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescure Systems (AMVER)-assisted Rescue at Sea Award was presented in London by Inmarsat senior vice-president and company secretary Alison Horrocks to the cargo ships Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight.

Diverted by the Brazilian rescue authorities, the two Amver-participating vessels located the Concordia's life rafts and were able to pick up the 64 students and the crew. The Inmarsat-sponsored award was one of the independently-judged Lloyd's List Global Awards which recognize excellence in the shipping industry. It is presented each year to the crew of a vessel participating in the Amver ship reporting system for showing extraordinary courage and seamanship.

Amver was introduced by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1958 to identify other vessels in the vicinity of a ship in distress that can assist in rescue operations. Vessels enrolled in the free service use Inmarsat's network to report their positions. Inmarsat has sponsored the Amver award for more than five years. Inmarsat's head of maritime safety, Peter Blackhurst, said, "With our long heritage of promoting safety at sea we are proud to sponsor this award. Thousands of lives have been saved thanks to satellite communications and we continue to develop Inmarsat safety services, such as the new 'Red Button' maritime voice distress service for FleetBroadband."