Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Indian Captain, Crew Win Award for Heroic Red Sea Rescue – N.F Times

An Indian captain Avhilash Rawat and the crew of the oil tanker Marlin Luanda will receive the prestigious International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Award for ‘Exceptional Bravery at Sea’. The honour comes in recognition of their heroic actions during a harrowing incident in the Red Sea on January 26, 2024.

The Marlin Luanda was struck by a missile fired by Houthi rebels, igniting a massive fire in a cargo tank containing highly flammable Naphtha. Despite the imminent danger and threat of further attacks, Captain Rawat led his crew in a daring firefighting operation, maintaining the ship’s integrity for over four hours.

“Despite the damage, Captain Avhilash Rawat swiftly organised firefighting efforts, ensuring the crew’s safety and maintaining the ship’s navigability amidst the chaos. With the starboard lifeboat destroyed, the remaining crew mustered at the port lifeboat station, ready for potential evacuation,” reads the award citation.

Later support came from an international naval coalition, including the French frigate FS Alsace, the US frigate USS Carney, and the Indian warship INS Visakhapatnam. Notably, Captain Rawat refused suggestions to abandon the ship, instead persevering until Indian Navy firefighters boarded and helped extinguish the blaze.

The Marshall Islands nominated the captain and crew for the award. In a related announcement, Captain Brijesh Nambiar and the crew of INS Visakhapatnam will receive a Letter of Commendation for their crucial support role.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for December 2 at the IMO Headquarters in London, where these maritime heroes will be formally recognized for their exceptional courage in the face of extreme danger.

A total of 41 nominations were received from 15 member states and three non-governmental organisations in consultative status with IMO. Nominations were initially reviewed by an Assessment Panel, and their recommendations were considered by a panel of judges, who ultimately selected the recipients of honours.

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