Mitsui OSK receives Amver award for rescuing Concordia passengers

The following is the text of a press release issued by Mitsui OSK Lines:
(TOKYO) — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) today announced that the company has received the 2011 Amver Assisted Rescue at Sea Award presented by Lloyd’s List, the newspaper covering the global shipping industry.
The Amver Assisted Rescue at Sea Award praises seafarers for rescue activities demonstrating extraordinary courage and seamanship. This year’s award honors the MOL-owned woodchip carriers Hokuetsu Delight and Crystal Pioneer, which rescued all 64 persons adrift from the sailing training ship Concordia, which capsized in the Atlantic Ocean 550km southeast of Rio de Janeiro .

The 57-meter Concordia, operated as a floating school, encountered fierce winds on February 17 and capsized around 8:00 p.m. that night, with the crew and trainees, high school and university students, abandoning the ship.

Search and rescue activities took place from the night of the incident until the morning of the 19th. Despite high winds, choppy seas, and limited predawn visibility, the two woodchip carriers searched for and located the shipwreck survivors. The task was all the more difficult considering that the huge wood chip carriers are easily affected by winds and difficult to maneuver. However, the highly skilled officers and crew members completed the rescue operations without any secondary injuries or damage.

On September 20, Mitsui O.S.K. Bulk Shipping (Europe) Ltd. Managing Director Mitsuhiro Iwata and other executives attended the awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in London .

At the awards ceremony, one judge commented, “The operation to save such a large group of student sailors was a deeply impressive display of skill and bravery by all involved. The actions of the Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight offered a perfect display of international cooperation and a shining example of best practices.â€

By Professional Mariner Staff