Indian captain receives 2016 IMO bravery award Captain Radhika Menon has become the ﬁrst woman to receive the IMO bravery award
he Master of an oil tanker who says she Durgamma. The boat was adrift following was “just doing her job” has received the engine failure and loss of anchor in severe highest IMO bravery recognition for saving the weather. Food and water had been washed lives of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing away and they were surviving on ice from the boat during a tumultuous storm in the Bay of cold storage. Bengal in June 2015. Through wave heights of more than 25 “It is every seafarer’s and Master’s solemn feet, winds of more than 60 knots and heavy duty and obligation to save souls in distress at rain, on 22 June 2015, the second officer on sea. I just did what a the Sampurna Swarajya seafarer should do for spotted the boat 2.5 a fellow soul in distress kilometres away, off the We could do nothing at sea. Yes, it was an coast of Gopalpur, Orissa. except wipe the tears from instant decision, but not Captain Menon our eyes. Madam appeared immediately ordered a without assessing the as a goddess, and saved risks involved. I just did rescue operation, utilising our lives my duty,” said Captain the pilot ladder and with Radhika Menon, Master life jackets and buoys of the oil products on standby. It took three tanker Sampurna Swarajya. arduous attempts in the lashing wind and rain She was speaking after IMO Secretaryand heavy swells, before all seven weak and General Kitack Lim presented her with the starving fishermen, aged from 15 to 50 years 2016 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at old, were brought to safety on board the ship. Sea on Monday (21 November), during an Their families had already given them up emotional ceremony. for dead and were preparing for their funeral Captain Menon is the first female captain in rites. But thanks to the rescue, led by Captain the Indian Merchant Navy and the first female Menon, they were reunited with their loved to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional ones a few days later. Bravery at Sea. Rescued fisherman Dasari Danayya, Captain Menon was nominated for the speaking in his home town of Kakinada, award by the Government of India, for her Andhra Pradesh, said that without Captain great determination and courage in leading Menon, they would not be alive. the difficult rescue operation to save all “We could do nothing except wipe the seven fishermen from the fishing boat tears from our eyes. Madam appeared as a
goddess, and saved our lives,” he told The Shipping Corporation of India, in a video broadcast during the ceremony. Captain Menon began her seafaring career as a radio officer and progressed to being a deck officer and later was appointed as Master of the Sampurna Swarajya. The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was established by IMO to 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.
The official magazine of the International Maritime Organization