In a notable first for Europort, this year’s event will host the US Coast Guard’s Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) 2017 Awards, marking Rotterdam’s debut as a venue for the prestigious ceremony.
The Awards will be held on the afternoon of Tuesday 7th November at the port city’s Rotterdam Ahoy venue, alongside Europort, to recognize the contribution of companies from the Netherlands which have made their vessels available for search and rescue around the world.
Benjamin M. Strong, Director, AMVER Maritime Relations at the US Coast Guard, says: “Rotterdam is a major port and presenting AMVER awards to our Dutch partners at Europort just makes sense. This is the premier event at which to recognize the good work by Dutch shipping companies and their crews.” Currently there are 165 vessels managed by 31 Dutch companies that have earned AMVER awards, which are presented to vessels that have been available for search and rescue efforts in the previous calendar year. These ships voluntarily report their positions to the US Coast Guard and if needed they are diverted to assist in search and rescue cases anywhere in the world.
Mr. Strong adds: “The awards are a critical part of the AMVER Program. Not every ship will make a rescue, but every ship is prepared and has taken an extra step by reporting to the Coast Guard. Through the Awards we can recognise the cost to shipping in terms of staff hours, lost port calls and fuel, if these ships are asked to respond. Moreover, seafarers understand the dangers of the sea, and are willing to assist at almost any cost, and we want to make sure we properly and publicly recognise these efforts.”
The AMVER Awards Program was inaugurated in 1971 to recognise those vessels that regularly participate in the system. Awards are given to vessels that send position reports and are available to divert for a minimum of 128 days a year. The managing company receives a letter of appreciation while the ship received a certificate of merit.
Europort Exhibition Manager, Raymond Siliakus, comments: “We are delighted that the US Coast Guard has chosen Europort as the venue for its Awards, which recognise the tremendous contribution to safety at sea made by so many Dutch vessels and their crews over the past year. It highlights the fact that the event is accepted worldwide as being a leading meeting place for the maritime industry where such Awards can be sure to generate maximum exposure and attendance.”
The success of AMVER, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2018, is tied directly to the number of merchant vessels regularly reporting their positions. The more ships that are plotted through the AMVER system, the greater the chance a ship will be identified near the position of distress. The computer-based AMVER system determines the best ship, or ships, to respond to a distress call. On any given day, there are over 7,000 vessels participating in AMVER that are available to divert and assist in a distress situation.
Image: Dinner Chairman John Kelly (COO, Xerox Global Services); New York Council Navy League President Dr. Daniel M. Thys; Master, C/S NOORDAM, Captain Hans Mateboer, Holland America Line as the New York Council, Navy League of the United States, Amver Award Medal is presented to the Cruise Ship Noordam at the annual New York Council of the Navy League dinner and awards program in New York City on March 14, 2007 (photo credit: USCG).
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