Captain honoured for bravery at sea by the IMO

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A Captain who assisted in rescuing seafarers after an explosion on a nearby vessel has been awarded with a Letter of Commendation for his acts of bravery at sea by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Captain Elbrus Ismayilov was leading the P&O Maritime Logistics’ vessel Citadel in the Caspian Sea on 8th May 2019, when a nearby vessel, Israfil Huseynov, experienced a catastrophic explosion. Bad weather conditions at the time of the incident meant it was impossible to deploy helicopters and other lifesaving appliances to rescue the 14 injured crew members onboard. Instead, Captain Ismayilov deployed Citadel and its crew to assist in the immediate evacuation of all those onboard the damaged vessel.

Under the leadership of Capitan Ismayilov, the crew of Citadel demonstrated exceptional bravery as they approached and positioned themselves alongside the stricken vessel in extremely poor visibility conditions, received the injured crew members, navigated through extreme fog to deliver the injured personnel safely and efficiently to the nearest port. The Citadel crew, together with doctors, were able to provide first aid for the injured individuals during the sea passage prior to them being transferred to waiting ambulances onshore.

Following the incident in 2019, Captain Elbrus Ismayilov and vessel crew members were awarded the badge Honorary Fleet Officer and the Order of Honor by the special decree of the Azerbaijan State Maritime Agency. Additionally, the Agency sent a special note of information to the International Maritime Organization.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has recently recognised Captain Ismayilov for the bravery and heroism he has shown, describing his efforts during the rescue as “among the noblest of human undertakings” and “upholding the finest traditions of those who ply the oceans.”

Speaking on Captain Ismayilov’s award, Martin Helweg, CEO, P&O Maritime Logistics’ said: “We couldn’t be prouder of Captain Ismayilov and the ‘Citadel’ crew for their professionalism, dedication and self-sacrifice during the evacuation of the ‘Israfil Huseynov’. I know I speak for all of us at P&O Maritime Logistics when I extend my most sincere congratulations to Captain Ismayilov, upon receipt of his Letter of Commendation for Exceptional Bravery at Sea from the International Maritime Organization.

“As an organisation, P&O Maritime Logistics focuses relentlessly on health and safety and understand the courage it takes to put one’s life on the line for a fellow seafarer. The actions of Captain Ismayilov are truly remarkable and we thank him for his continued service.”