The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) held its first-ever virtual award ceremony on the 7th April, 2021. The event recognized the contributions of long-standing maritime industry chief, Peter Hinchliffe, former Secretary-General, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and presented him with the prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2019.
The event also presented its highest bravery accolade, the 2020 IMO Awards for Exceptional Bravery at Sea to Marcio Santos Teixeira and Fabio Rodrigues Alves de Abreu, for averting a major oil spill event at the Terminal Almirante Barroso in São Sebastião Port; and to Ralph Ofalla Barajan, who saved the lives of all those onboard the sinking passenger vessel Siargao Princess.
During the event, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim praised the recipients of the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea for their acts of determination and bravery to save lives despite the risk involved, and expressed his appreciation to seafarers who continued to deliver essential goods worldwide despite the pandemic.
International Maritime Prize
Upon receiving the prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2019, Hinchliffe said, “I am truly humbled to receive the International Maritime Prize as it is a recognition of the contribution that ICS made and continues to make to the work of the IMO. While the friendship, openness, and spirit of cooperation I have experienced at IMO is truly remarkable, I would also like to request for an end to crew travel restrictions and would like to emphasize on availability of vaccines for seafarers across all IMO Member States.”
IMO Secretary-General acknowledged the pivotal role that Hinchliffe played in the work of IMO in his long career and said, "He (Hinchliffe) ensured that the interests of shipowners were always promoted whilst recognizing the need for change and advancement in the environmental and safety aspects of shipping."
IMO Bravery Awards
While three individuals received the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea, 10 others received letters of commendation, and four others received certificates of commendation.
Among the three who received the award, Marcio and Fabio were recognized for their decisiveness, professionalism, and ship-handling expertise in safely maneuvering two oil tankers that had gone adrift during a ship-to-ship operation in extreme weather conditions at the Terminal Almirante Barroso in São Sebastião Port. Whereas, Ralph was recognized for his leadership and determination to save the lives of 62 people onboard the sinking passenger vessel Siargao Princess, despite him being off-duty.