New Delhi: International Maritime Organization (IMO) council has given away IMO Award and Certificate of Commendation to the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Master along with crew members of tugboat Ocean Bliss for 2020-21. The outfits have been selected for the award for their exceptional and courageous efforts towards the rescue operation of the oil tanker MT New Diamond, which caught fire and was drifting towards the coast, laden with inflammable cargo.
On September 03, 2020, a fire broke out in the engine room of New Diamond at around 07:45 (Sri Lanka Standard Time), when the ship was about 65 kilometres east of Sri Lanka in the Sangamon Kanda Point. At the time, the ship was carrying 270,000 tonnes of oil from Kuwait to the Paradip refinery in India, with 18 Filipino and five Greek crewmembers on board. The cargo was loaded on 23 August 2020 at Mina al Ahmadi and was due to arrive at Paradip on 5 September. The ship was chartered for the voyage by the Indian Oil Corporation. The rescue team members of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and the master and crew of tugboat Ocean Bliss carried out sustained and effective firefighting operations and skilfully towed the vessel away from the coast, thereby preventing loss of life at sea and averting a serious marine pollution incident.
In order to internationally recognise extraordinary seamanship skills and outstanding courage displayed by individuals at sea, the IMO award for exceptional bravery at sea is conferred annually to individuals or groups who, at the risk to their own lives, perform acts of exceptional bravery in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.
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