2013 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea

Monday, 25 November 2013 at 5 p.m.
Speech by Koji Sekimizu
Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization
Excellencies, Chairman of the Council, Secretaries-General Emeriti, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome you, once again, to our annual award ceremony. 
The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea serves to honour those who have put their own lives on the line, acting instinctively, with courage, to try to save others, when harsh weather, cruel seas or other extraordinary circumstances have put lives in danger.
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we are privileged and humbled to be among special people, from across the globe, who have been nominated for their personal acts of exceptional bravery. Once again, we stand in awe of those who have risked their own personal safety for others, showing bravery, altruism and devotion to duty.
This year, we received 34 nominations for the bravery award, from 10 IMO Member States and two non-governmental organizations in consultative status.
The panel of judges considered that two professional rescuers and one seafarer merited the top award for their actions. They displayed uncommon courage in truly difficult circumstances. 
You will hear more about those specific acts of bravery a bit later.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before we proceed to the presentation of the Awards, I should like, once again, to offer my sincere gratitude to the Government of Spain, for its generosity in supporting the scheme by subsidizing the production of the splendid silver medals that we will present to the winners of the main Award.
And, now, to the highlight of the evening – the presentation of the awards: we will invite first those who were judged worthy of Certificates of Commendation (or their representatives) to come forward to receive them.
After that, it will be our great honour to present the medals for the 2013 Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.
Thank you.