In connection with the IMO Council session last week, a panel decided to award the crew on board Charlotte Mærsk a diploma for special recognition of the brave efforts made during a fire on board their ship in 2010.
The recognition was given in connection with the awarding of the “2011 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea”.
On 7 July 2010, a fire broke out on board Charlotte Mærsk, which had a cargo of 4142 containers on board, 45 nautical miles off the Malaysian coast. The fire arose in a container with dangerous goods, and the fire developed explosively. Soon it became clear to the crew that the fire was serious and presented a risk of spreading to, among other things, a container with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It was considered abandoning the ship, but the crew decided to fight the fire themselves and thereby contributed greatly to extinguishing the fire. The crew was ready to fight the fire 7 minutes after the alarm sounded. The crew carried out the fire-fighting activities on their own for the first 24 hours since assistance from the relevant authorities could not get there earlier. The fire on board was so fierce that it was not extinguished until after 11 days.
“This is the first time that Danish seafarers are recognised in connection with the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the entire crew of Charlotte Mærsk. There is no doubt that, during the ship’s fire, they went far beyond what could have been expected of a ship crew, also considering the great risk they were facing. The recognition is a clear expression of this by the international maritime community”, says Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority Andreas Nordseth.
The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was awarded for the first time in 2007 and is given on the basis of nominations by Member States or interest organisations. The award has, among other things, been instituted as a recognition that the seafarers form the core element of maritime safety. In 2011, the IMO had received 38 nominations. This year, the award as such is given to a South Korean master who, in connection with an attack by pirates, carried out a number of actions to save his ship and crew, and during these he was shot. Luckily, the captain survived and he is given the award for his brave actions.
The award and the diplomas will be handed over in connection with the IMO Assembly in November 2011.
Source: DMA , July 5, 2011.