The winners of the IMRF Awards 2018 have been announced at a formal dinner and award ceremony attended by shortlisted finalists from around the world.
Theresa Crossley (pictured), CEO IMRF said: “The winners of this years’ IMRF Awards include some outstanding individuals and exceptional organisations and companies who really set the ‘gold standard’ for maritime search and rescue around the world.
“We would like to thank all those who submitted nominations. We congratulate all those who were shortlisted and the runners up in each category, but most of all we celebrate this years’ winners. They really are remarkable and act as an inspiration to all those working and volunteering all around the world to prevent loss of life in the world’s waters. We would also like to thank all of the IMRF Award sponsors who make this global recognition and celebration of maritime SAR excellence possible, and, of course, the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, who so generously hosted this year’s Awards ceremony.”
The winner of the IMRF Award 2018 for Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Maritime SAR Operation is Captain Siddarth Sharma, a ship’s master from Mumbai, India.
The winner of the IMRF Award 2018 for Outstanding Team Contribution to a Maritime SAR Operation is the crew of KNRM Station Terschelling Paal 8, from Friesland, Netherlands.
The winner of the IMRF Award 2018 for Innovation and Technology in Maritime Search and Rescue is the Pink Rescue Buoy, developed by the National Sea Rescue Institute in South Africa.
Exceptionally, there were two winners of The IMRF Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Maritime SAR Sector, with both finalists being presented with awards recognising their remarkable contributions to maritime safety over many, many years. The judges agreed that both John Kooijman who founded CITRO (Curacao Sea Rescue Organisation) and Captain Nick Guerchev, Chairman and founder of BULSAR, the Bulgarian national volunteer maritime safety society had both made outstanding contributions to maritime safety.
Finally, the winner of the IMRF 2018 People’s Choice Award was the Canadian Coast Guard Volunteer Rescue Specialists. Anyone could participate in deciding the winner of this category by visiting the IMRF facebook page and “liking” the finalist they thought most deserving. The finalist with the most “likes” and “shares” at 1600 GMT on 8 November, was declared the winner. More than 11,600 “likes” and “shares” were submitted in total.
The winners of the IMRF Awards 2018 were announced at the IMRF Awards ceremony and dinner on Thursday 8 November which was hosted by the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (RS) at their training centre, RS Noatun near Horten in Norway.
RS also presented two Local Hero Awards 2018 to two exceptional SAR teams from Norway. Coxwain Espen Johan Hole and crew members Kristian Lundemo and Magnus Hafslund from RS in Norway were given a Local Hero Award 2018 for their part in a high-profile rescue saving three people. And a Local Hero Award 2018 was presented to Frode Rostad and Stein Erik Aannerud from RS’s Voluntary Search and Rescue Unit at Lake Mjøsa, recognising their tireless volunteering saving lives at sea, over the last 20 years.
The IMRF Awards were created three years ago to recognise and reward the selfless efforts of search and rescue operators around the world, who make many sacrifices to saves lives at sea.