Safety at Sea International Awards

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Four shipping industry companies and organisations have been honoured for their outstanding contributions to maritime safety.

The third annual Safety at Sea International Awards were presented June 10 at a banquet in Oslo in recognition of excellence in programmes, products and services that encourage and promote safety in the maritime environment. Prizes were awarded in four categories: equipment, systems, training and management/operations. In addition, a special AMVER (Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue System) award was given to pay homage to bravery and seamanship in assisting those in peril on the sea.

The awards ceremony was moderated by Paul Gunton, managing editor of Safety at Sea International magazine, and the awards were presented by Stephen Meyer, chief inspector of marine accidents for the U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

In the equipment category, Cosalt was the winner for its Premier 1010 lifejacket. The judges were impressed by its various patented features developed over three years and benefiting from 1,000 hours of in-water testing. The jacket’s neck and head support arrangement adjust to the wearer’s neck size and hold the head at an optimum angle to keep the mouth clear of the water.

In the systems category, Seatag Safety Systems took the prize for its real-time passenger accounting systems, which provide rapid real-time indication of passenger mustering in the event of a ship evacuation at sea.

Star Cruises was the winner in the training category with its bridge management system. The system was underpinned by a thorough training regime via the company’s established ship simulator centre, and, despite a 12-year accident-free record, the operator had boosted the training programme with an advanced bridge resource management course to raise skills to a higher level and further reduce accident risk.

In the management/operations category, the award went to the European Union Naval Force Operational Headquarters for the EU Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) reporting service. The Web-based service assists ships in transiting the Gulf of Aden, Horn of Africa and Somali Basin by coordinating maritime forces to protect shipping against piracy.

In a final award, Captain Lazaros Vasileiadis and the crew of the tanker Parthenon were recognised for their role in rescuing four Swedish sailors from their yacht during stormy seas off Cabo de São Vicente, Portugal. The weather was so rough that a rescue helicopter was forced to return to shore, and the yacht’s liferaft had been swept away. Despite the conditions, Captain Vasileiadis maneuvered the ship alongside the foundering yacht and brought the four sailors aboard.

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