Radhika Menon- 1st Woman for IMO’S Exceptional Bravery Award at Sea (Download PDF)


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India’s first female Merchant Navy captain became the first woman to be awarded by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)for her exceptional bravery in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in tumultuous Bay of Bengal waters last year.

Captain Radhika Menon received medal and certificate at an awards ceremony at the IMO headquarters.

Image of Radhika Menon

Image of Radhika Menon

Image of Radhika Menon

Bravery in Seas

  • Successful rescue of all seven anglers in June 2015 from the fishing boat ‘Durgamma’ adrift following engine failure and loss of anchor in severe weather.
  • No food and water, men were surviving on ice from the cold storage.
  • Sampurna Swarajya’ vessel under command of Ms. Menon mounted a rescue mission on her orders overcoming wave heights of more than 25 feet, winds of more than 60 knots and heavy rain off the coast of Gopalpur, Orissa.
  • After 3 onerous attempts all seven weak and starving fishermen, aged from 15 to 50 years old, were brought to safety on board the ship.

About IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea

  • IMO is the United Nations’ specialized agency promoting safety and security of shipping and the preventing marine pollution by ships.
  • Award established by IMO to recognize exceptional acts of courage to save life at sea or mitigate damage to the marine environment.
  • Nominations scrutinized by an Assessment Panel made up of members of non-governmental organizations, under the leadership of the Secretary-General.
  • Subsequently, a Panel of Judges selects the recipient of the Award.
  • Recipient is invited to a special ceremony to receive a medal and a certificate citing the act of exceptional bravery.
  • Honors include

    • The Award itself, bestowed to the winner.
    • Certificates of Commendation awarded to nominees.
    • Letters of Commendation to those nominees judged to deserve special recognition.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 22, 2016


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