Patrick Marchesseau Captain of Le Ponant, a cruise ship belonging to Compagnie du Ponant, a subsidiary of the CMA CGM French Group, has received from the President of the Republic of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
This honor is in recompense for his courage and professionalism during the hostage situation on the vessel under his command in April 2008, off the coast of Yemen. The ship was returning from the Seychelles to the Mediterranean, with a crew of 30 and no passengers, when it was attacked and boarded by Somali pirates. The French Government and the French Armed forces were fully mobilized and assisted CMA CGM for the safe release of the hostages. Captain Marchesseau showed great self control in the management of this crisis.