IMO launches Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships, has launched a new award for exceptional bravery at sea.

The Award will, uniquely, provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.

At its 96th session in June, the IMO Council gave the formal go-ahead for the Award, approving guidelines for the process of selecting the winner. Nominations are now being invited for the 2007 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

Nominations are expected to focus on such factors as location of the incident; prevailing weather conditions; skill displayed; leadership demonstrated; determination to conduct the rescue operation; exceptional courage demonstrated; and degree of risk (to human lives and/or the marine environment) involved. The Award may also be granted posthumously.

The nominations for the Award may be made, with a deadline of 15 April 2007, by United Nations Member States; intergovernmental organizations; and non-governmental international organizations in consultative status with IMO.

The nominations will be scrutinized initially by an assessment panel made up of members of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO* who will serve in their personal and expert capacity and not as representatives of the organization nominating them. A panel of judges will select the winner from the shortlist provided by the assessment panel.

The winner of the Award will be presented with a medal, which will be accompanied by a certificate citing the act of exceptional bravery performed, at a special ceremony to be held, in London or elsewhere, on the occasion of World Maritime Day or another major IMO occasion.

Briefing 26, 21 July 2006

* The International Shipping Federation Limited (ISF); the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU); the International Maritime Pilots' Association (IMPA); the International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA); the International Salvage Union (ISU); the International Lifeboat Federation (ILF); and the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA). Where the circumstances of a nomination involve marine environmental protection, an expert nominated by relevant NGOs will also be included in the Panel.

For further information please contact:
Lee Adamson, Head, Public Information Services on 020 7587 3153 ( or
Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (