The judges for the International Maritime Rescue Federation Awards 2019 have announced their shortlist following careful consideration of compelling entries from around the world. Designed to honour the outstanding commitment of dedicated Search & Rescue (SAR) professionals and volunteers, the Awards also aim to raise awareness of techniques, technologies and equipment to improve SAR capabilities for the future.
The finalists in four categories are:
Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations
- Daisy Gallardo, President of Cuerpo de Voluntarios de los Botes Salvavidas de Puerto Montt, Chile. She leads a volunteer SAR organisation, which she joined at 16, rising to become the first woman to be elected as President of any SAR organisation in Chile in 2016.
Captain HUANG Zhibin from Donghai No.2 Flying Service of East Sea Rescue Bureau, Fujian Province, China. He led a complex helicopter rescue in a super typhoon, involving a cargo ship with nine crew stranded onboard.
Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations
Marine Rescue Port Macquarie in Australia and Coastguard New Zealand. The team successfully conducted a multi-agency rescue when a 10m motor cruiser hit rocks at speed, resulting in severe injuries to all three passengers.
Coastguard New Zealand successfully managed a large, complex multi-agency search and rescue operation to save a man, woman and a child thrown into freezing water when their small boat flipped over.
Innovation and Technology in the Field of Maritime SAR
South African National Sea Rescue Institute - design of a floating rescue stretcher designed to safely carry an immobilised patient over rocks and through surf.
The UK's Maritime Coastguard Agency led by Phillip Hanson - work using drones and other remotely controlled assets to improve future search and rescue operations.
The Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Maritime SAR Sector
- Arthur Allen of the US Coast Guard and Clay Evans of the Canadian Coast Guard - both have contributed over 30 years of service in their respective organisations and have been responsible for saving countless lives.
NEW: Women in SAR Award
This new Award is part of the IMRF's wider #WomenInSAR initiative in support of the IMO's Empowering Women in Maritime campaign to recognize an individual who has been an inspirational role model for others.
Captain SONG Yin of the Donghai No.1 Rescue Flying Service in China. She joined the Rescue Flying Service after graduating from Shanghai Maritime University in 2008 and has gained extensive flying and technical experience to become one of China's first female search and rescue helicopter captains
Isobel Tugwell, a crew member at the RNLI Shoreham Lifeboat Station in the UK. She joined the Shoreham lifeboat crew at 17 and has been taking a full part in SAR operations ever since – even while she was studying for her A levels.
Commenting, IMRF CEO Theresa Crossley said, "I am very pleased to announce this exceptional shortlist for the IMRF Awards 2019 and for the very first time – the finalists for the Women in SAR Award.
"The calibre of all the nominations continues to inspire and amaze the judges. All around the world there are breathtaking search and rescue operations being conducted in harrowing conditions with SAR professionals using their skill and expertise to save lives in remarkable circumstances. Here are just some of those people, selected today as our finalists."
The IMRF's People's Choice Award
The IMRF will also be inviting the public to vote for their preferred winner for the IMRF's People's Choice Award - more details on how to vote will be released shortly.
The winners of all the awards will be announced at a presentation ceremony on 10 September 2019, onboard HQS Wellington, during London International Shipping Week. The Awards will be presented by Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO CB ADC.
NB. image is from an IMRF rescue simulation
Judges of the 2019 IMRF Awards:
Michael Vlasto (Former IMRF Chair and Chair of the Awards Judging Panel);
Pat Quealey (immediate past CEO, Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue);
Nigel Clifford (General Manager Safety and Response, Maritime New Zealand);
Jared Blows (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Chief, MRCC Cape Town, South Africa);
Stein Solberg (formerly of JRCC Stavanger, Norway).
The IMRF would also like to thank its sponsors for their generous support:
Inmarsat - the global satellite owner and operator providing mobile and fixed communications services to the maritime industry, is sponsoring the Vladimir Maksimov Lifetime Achievement Award and the Women in SAR Award.
CM Hammar - whose vision is to substantially reduce loss of life at sea by creating better solutions for safety at sea is sponsoring the Team Award.
Pole Star - who have been proudly serving the maritime sector by increasing safety and security at sea for 20 years, is sponsoring the Innovation and Technology Award.
Navigate PR - who are sponsoring The People's Choice Award.