Jonathan Cohen, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Nicosia, presented awards to 18 Cyprus shipping companies for their assistance in the United States Coast Guard’s voluntary search and rescue programme, AMVER, which is celebrating 50 years of operation.
The US diplomat presented the awards at a ceremony that took place at the premises of the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA), in Limassol, last Friday. The ceremony was co-sponsored by CYMEPA, the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, the Propeller Club of the United States (Limassol Port), and the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia and followed the CYMEPA annual meeting in the presence of founder Stelios Hadjioannou and current president George Tsavliris.
AMVER, the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, is a voluntary , worldwide ship reporting system open to vessels of all flags and nations run by the U.S. Coast Guard. Companies participating in AMVER make their ships available as rescue assets in the event of an emergency. Last year, AMVER ships saved 450 lives while assisting many other ships in distress around the world.
Many Cyprus ships have been involved in the system for almost two decades.
Prior to sailing, participating ships send a sail plan, indicating their port of departure, port of destination, course and speed to the AMVER computer centre. This data is processed, using a system of dead reckoning, and AMVER is able to project the position of each ship at any point during its voyage. In an emergency, any rescue coordination centre can request this data to determine the relative position of AMVER ships near a mariner, vessel, or aircraft in distress. On any given day there are over 3,300 ships available to carry out search and rescue services.
AMVER AWARDS 2008
Columbia Shipmanagement – 21 awards, including 1 gold pendant;
SMT Shipmanagement Transport – 20 awards, 2 gold, 1 purple pendant;
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement – 17 awards, 2 gold pendants, 4 plaques;
Athena Marine – 17 awards, 2 gold pendants;
Reederei Nord Klaus E Oldendorff – 14 awards, 2 gold pendants;
Amer Shipping – 8 awards;
Intership Navigation – 7 awards;
Interorient Navigation – 6 awards, 1 gold pendant;
Donnelly Tanker Management – 4 awards;
Chemikalien Seetransport Cyprus – 3 awards;
V Ships – 3 awards;
Kotani Shipmanagement – 2 awards;
Osterreicher Lloyd Ship Management Cyprus – 1 gold pendant;
Lemissoler Shipmanagement – 1 award;
Marlow Navigation – 1 award;
Tecto Cyprus – 1 award;
Unicom Management – 1 award;
Uniteam Marine – 1 award.