Tanker chief officer Bo Xu receives 2022 IMO Bravery Award


The 2022 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea has been presented to Mr. Bo Xu, a chief officer from China who selflessly jumped from his oil tanker into freezing seas off northern China to save two individuals clinging to a life raft from a sinking cargo ship.

Mr. Bo Xu was honoured during the annual IMO Award ceremony which took place last week. Mr Xu, Chief Officer of the oil tanker Jian Qiao 502, was nominated for the award by China.

Accepting his award from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to a standing ovation, Mr. Xu described the freezing waters and high waves during his “race against death” to save the people in distress.
“The sea could be cold and merciless but humans are not. As a seafarer, I will never hesitate to jump overboard to save people in danger,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

“This award from IMO is not only an encouragement to me and my team, but also a recognition of China’s efforts in maritime SAR. In 2021 alone, China successfully rescued more than 13,000 people in distress at sea, which protected the happiness of tens of thousands of families,” Mr. Xu added.

The IMO Awards Ceremony also saw a special tribute paid to former Secretary-General William A O’Neil and the presentation of the International Maritime Prize for 2021 to Professor David Attard.