Two Maersk Vessels Honored for Rescue Operations

Posted by Michelle Howard
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Kiefer, Exec. VP AMO, Hon. Helen Delich Bentley, Chip Jaenichen U.S. Maritime Administrator

Two Maersk Line Ltd. ships have been honored with Mariners’ Plaques for performing rescues at sea. The awards to the officers and crews of the containership, Maersk Utah, and the oceanographic survey vessel, USNS Bowditch, were presented at the Admiral of the Ocean Seas (AOTOS) award dinner on Friday, November 15 in New York. AOTOS is the maritime industry’s highest award and is the main fundraiser for United Seamen’s Service (USS) which operates seafarer welfare centers in ports around the world.

The officers and crew of the Maersk Utah received the AOTOS Mariners’ Plaque for their participation in the rescue of 83 Syrian refugees. On the night of August 9, 2013, the Maersk Utah was about 70 nautical miles off the coast of Sicily when officers received a distress call regarding a small craft. Aboard the Utah were Master Robert H. Sienel, Chief Mate Joe Single, Second Mate Bryan Phillips and Third Mate Thomas Komenda. The 300-meter-long containership altered course and increased speed to reach the distressed boat before nightfall.

According to Capt. Sienel, “The Maersk Utah approached the craft and stopped alongside at 20:33. At this time it became clear that the boat, approximately 15 meters long, was carrying many people of various ages, gender and physical condition.” Utah maneuvered into position to shield the refugees’ small boat against the rising wind and sea, while the Italian Coast Guard, with trained ship and crew, were in route to perform the rescue operation.

Over the next 9.5 hours, the Utah sheltered the boat while the Italian Coast Guard completed the rescue. The first Coast Guard vessel arrived at about 01:28, but was too small to execute the rescue in such rough seas. The Utah received instructions to provide shelter for both boats while awaiting the arrival of a larger rescue vessel. The second Italian Coast Guard vessel arrived at 03:54 and began rescuing the refugees. Finally, at 10:00, the rescue of all 83 refugees was complete and the Utah was released to continue its voyage to Algeciras, Spain.

The second AOTOS Mariners’ Plaque was awarded to the officers and crew of the USNS Bowditch for the complex rescue of the crew of a U.S. Navy ship in the Philippines. On January 17, Bowditch was instructed to aid the Navy minesweeper, USS Guardian, which had run aground on Tubbahata Reef, Philippines. Making speed, Bowditch arrived at the scene on January 18, facing foul weather, winds greater than 25 knots and a variety of dangers associated with high seas breaking over a shallow reef.

The Military Sealift Command’s (MSC), MV Champion, was already on the scene and working with the Philippine Coast Guard to determine the best course of action. Soon the decision was made to evacuate the grounded ship’s crew. Bowditch relied on her precision sonar to determine the exact water depth near the grounded ship, and then used her dynamic positioning system to maintain a safe position 400 yards from the stranded vessel. Bowditch deployed four out of her five lifeboats and within three hours, rescued all 79 of the minesweeper’s crew.

Bowditch housed 45 of the evacuees and provided them with hot showers, warm food and dry clothing. Over the next several days, Bowditch used her hydrographic survey capabilities to monitor the site of the grounded ship, as well as other reefs in the area to facilitate the safe deployment of salvage ships and crane anchors. Bowditch also hosted diving salvage crews and salvage officials before being released to assume her regular duties on January 28. Before Bowditch departed, Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Carney visited the ship to commend her officers and crew for not only saving 79 lives, but also for helping to protect a precious marine reef from further damage.
 

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Reftrade Upgrades Fleet Refrigeration Systems

Reftrade UK  has made an investment  to upgrade its fleet with environmentally friendly technology. The world’s first refrigeration system to use CO2 as a natural refrigerant,

ClassNK Reports Record 2014

Announcing its registration totals for 2014, ClassNK said 833 new vessels with a combined total of 21,466,272 gt joined its register over the course of the year,

GE Launches GE Marine Organization

GE unveils GE Marine organization to power, propel and position the global marine industry   GE unveiled today its new GE Marine organization which cumulates

Navy

Australia Gives Landing Craft to the Philippines

The Australian Government will gift two recently-decommissioned Landing Craft Heavy vessels, including a package of spare parts, to the Philippines Government,

Cutlass Express 2015 Commences

Maritime forces from East Africa, South Africa, Europe, Indian Ocean nations, the United States and several international organizations began the fourth iteration

India Seeks Submarine Cooperation with Japan

The government of India has put forward a proposal of over Rs 50,000 crore ($6 billion) project to construct six stealth submarines in India. India is especially

Container Ships

Reftrade Upgrades Fleet Refrigeration Systems

Reftrade UK  has made an investment  to upgrade its fleet with environmentally friendly technology. The world’s first refrigeration system to use CO2 as a natural refrigerant,

China Watching Greece After Port Sale Shelved

China is closely monitoring the policies of the new Greek government after Athens said this week it will stop the sale of a majority stake in Greece's biggest port,

Maersk McKinney Moller Sets Container Loading Record

18,612 TEUs is the new world record for container loading, and was won by Maersk Line's Triple E Class vessel, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, first in the series of behemoths Danish company,

News

Baltic Sea Freight Index Falls to Lowest Level Since 1986

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, spiralled downwards to its lowest level in nearly three

Bill Proposed to Repay WWII Merchant Mariners

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (Calif.) and Congressman John Duncan Jr. (Tenn.) introduced the “Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2015,” which would provide

Navigational Charts App Debuts at Ocean Business

An independent consultancy and software development company will launch a new web and PC based navigational charting app at Ocean Business 2015.   Norcom Technology

Coast Guard

Dozens Missing off Bangladesh after Boat Sinks

About 40 illegal migrants heading from Bangladesh to Malaysia to look for work were missing on Thursday after their boat sank, police said. A steady stream of

USCG Rescue 2 on Bahamian Island

Two stranded men are safe after the Coast Guard rescued them off an Island in the Bahamas Tuesday afternoon. Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders received

Gulf of Guinea Maritime Crime Down in 2014

U.K.-based marine intelligence firm Dryad Maritime has said that maritime crime incidents in the Gulf of Guinea decreased 18% year on year in 2014 when compared to 2013.

Maritime Safety

Australia Gives Landing Craft to the Philippines

The Australian Government will gift two recently-decommissioned Landing Craft Heavy vessels, including a package of spare parts, to the Philippines Government,

National Domestic Surveyor Accreditation in place

Domestic marine surveyors will now be accredited under a national system run by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The Domestic Surveyor Accreditation

Australian Tall Ship Rounds Cape Horn

The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour rounded Cape Horn on Australia Day, 36 days into a 12-month circumnavigation of the world.

Surveyors

Navigational Charts App Debuts at Ocean Business

An independent consultancy and software development company will launch a new web and PC based navigational charting app at Ocean Business 2015.   Norcom Technology

Damen Delivers Custom-Made Offshore Winches to Fugro

Damen Maaskant Shipyards, part of Damen Shipyards Group, has delivered two dedicated offshore winches to Fugro. The Dutch shipyard was responsible for the design,

National Domestic Surveyor Accreditation in place

Domestic marine surveyors will now be accredited under a national system run by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The Domestic Surveyor Accreditation

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2573 sec (4 req/sec)