Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Greek Amver Award update

The Propeller Club, Port of Piraeus pulled out all the stops for this years annual Amver Awards dinner at the Interncontinental Hotel in downtown Athens. The Propeller Club had plenty to celebrate. Besides the 50th anniversary of the United States Coast Guard's Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, the Greeks made it a point to celebrate their lead in earning Amver awards. Greek vessels earned more Amver awards than any other country in the world. The United States Coast Guard recognizes the incredible contribution Greece has made in supporting Amver.

Here are some more photos of the award winners.

Rescue awards for the vessel AEGEAN ANGEL of ARCADIA SHIPMANAGEMENT Co
The M/V Aegean Angel, of Arcadia Shipmanagement, receives their rescue award.

Rescue Awards for the vessel MV PARTHENON for TSAKOS SHIPPING & TRADING sa
The M/V Parthenon, of Tsakos Shipping, receives their rescue award for rescuing several Swedish sailors in distress off the coast of Portugal in a recent case.

The M/V Omega Lady Sarah, of Omega Navigation Enterprises, receives their rescue award.

The M/V Ioannis K, of Marmaras Navigation, receives their rescue award for the rescue of 14
Philippine ferry passengers in the Sulu sea.

16Euronav Ship Management(hellas)Ltd
Euronav Ship Management (Hellas) Limited receives their annual Amver awards.

15Olympic Shipping and Management sa
Olympic Shipping and Management receive their annual Amver awards.

13Chartworld Shipping Corp
Charworld Shipping Corporation receive their annual Amver awards.

11Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd
Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Limited receive their annual Amver awards.

And the annual Amver awards in Greece wouldn't be complete, in fact Amver itself would not be whole, without the participatin of Tsakos vessels.
1Tsakos Shipping and Trading Sa
Tsakos Shipping and Trading receive their annual Amver awards.

Finally, the Propeller Club, Port of Piraeus could not host such an incredible event without the support of the shipping community. They would like to recognize their sponsors:





Thursday, November 20, 2008

USCG Innovation Expo; Collaboration Fuels Innovation

Amver has had the privilege of exhibiting at the 2008 United States Coast Guard Innovation Expo this week. Besides having an opportunity to see some of the Coast Guard's greatest new ideas we have been able to educate many people that Amver remains a reliable, relevant force multiplier for search and rescue.

Today is the last day of the exposition. If you are a member of the Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary, I would strongly encourage taking advantage of the free pass to enter the exhibition floor. You never know who you will run into. We suggest having your 2 minute elevator pitch ready, you may just have an opportunity to get the ear of senior leadership.

Come by and visit us at booth 424.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Amver Awards in Singapore

As reported by the United States Coast Guard Fourteenth District, the U.S. Embassy in Signapore, in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard officials, recognized more than 434 ships from 51 Singapore-based companies at an official ceremony celebrating their work in maintaining safety of life at sea.

At a ceremony at the Marina Mandarin Hotel Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard's Activities Far East (FEACT) unit, and other Coast Guardsmen, paid tribute to the crews and shipping companies for their participation in the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (Amver) System last year.

"We are proud to recognize these partners," said Capt. Gerald Swanson, FEACT commanding officer. "It is our privilege to bring together those who are part of the Amver program and thank them for their diligence and professionalism and commitment to safety of life at sea."

U.S. Coast Guard Activites Far East is headquartered in Tokyo with offices in Singapore and Seoul, and is a multi-mission unit responsible for international port security, maritime safety and engagement throughout a 41-nation Asia-Pacific region.

Recently a Singapore managed ship, the M/V Navig8 Stealth II, managed by Navig8 Ship Management, rescued 6 sailors from the sunken fishing vessel Jose Almuina.

We congratulate the Singapore Shipping Association on their achievement and thank Singapore for supporting Amver.

Above: Representatives from six Singapore-based shipping companies receive Amver Plaques signifying 15 consecutive years of voluntary reporting to Amver. Mr. Daniel Shields (left), Charge d' Affairs, US Embassy Singapore (left) and CAPT Gerald Swanson, US Coast Guard Activities Far East look on. (USCG photo)

Above: CAPT Gerald Swanson presents representatives from three Singapore-based shipping companies with Amver Plates signifying 20 consecutive years of voluntary reporting to Amver. (USCG photo)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maritime Administration Advisory

Considering the recent spike in maritime piracy, especially in the Gulf of Aden, the United States Maritime Administration has issued this MARAD Advisory regarding Gulf of Aden piracy countermeasures.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Unsung Heroes

The Guardian, surfman, coxswain, rescue swimmer. Those words bring to mind what most people think of when they picture the United States Coast Guard and search and rescue. What is often forgotten, however, is just how did those rescuers learn about the distress? From the search and rescue controller.

Often hidden in dark windowless command centers the search and rescue controller receives the distress and sounds the alarm. It is the search and rescue controller that makes the phone call in the middle of the night alerting a family their loved one is missing, overboard, adrift or deceased.

It is the search and rescue controller that is the calm during the storm. No matter how difficult a case may be, no matter how big the waves or how hard the wind blows, the search and rescue controller must remain calm and coordinate multiple resources with the single purpose of saving lives.

Last week several search and rescue controllers from the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command Center managed a case over 1,000 miles east of Bermuda. Because of their hard work 7 crewmen are alive today.

Unsung Heroes

Amver salutes the controllers pictured above: LTjg Chris Porter, OS2 Faith Wisinski, OS1 Rich Hynson, Mr. Geoff Pagels, Mr. Matt Brooks, LTjg Jon Parker. Missing from the photo but also involved in the case were LTjg Matt Brinkley, LTjg Ryan Erickson, OS1 Eric Gentry, and OS2 Cullen Rafferty.

Thank you search and rescue controllers, thank you.

Amver Awards in Greece

Once more the International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Piraeus in cooperation with the American Embassy and the United States Coast Guard, organized the Amver Awards Dinner.

The ceremony took place on the 23rd of October at the Intercontinental Hotel. During the event 120 Greek shipping companies received 836 awards on behalf of their vessels which participate in the Amver system.

For a second year Greece was No.1 in number of awards. It is worthy mentioning that this year the Amver System celebrates 50 years of ensuring no call for help goes unanswered.

Before the presentation of the Amver awards the president of the International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Piraeus, Nikolaos Tsavliris, presented special rescue awards certificates to TSAKOS SHIPPING and TRADING S.A, ARCADIA SHIPMANAGEMENT Co.Ltd, MARMARAS NAVIGATION Ltd, OMEGA NAVIGATION ENTERPRISES Inc., OSG SHIP MANΑGEMENT (GR) Ltd, as the crews of their vessels participated in rescue cases and saved 58 lives.

The Amver Awards were presented by the Deputy Minister of Merchant Marine, Aegean & Policy Islands ,Panos Kammenos, Deborah McCarthy, Deputy Chief of Mission of the American Embassy ,by Rear Admiral Theodore Rentzeperis Commandant of the Greek Coast Guard and Captain John Koster, Commander of the United States Coast Guard Activities Europe.

At the end of the ceremony Nicholaos Pappadakis, President of Intertanko and 1st Vice President of the Propeller Club, Port of Piraeus presented a commemorative plaque to Captain John Koster on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Amver System.

Present at the dinner were George Gratsos President of the Greek Chamber of Shipping, Ioannis Halas ,General Secretary of P.N.O. ,shipowner Nikos Tsakos and his wife Mrs.Sylia Tsakos, shipowner Evan J. Breibart, Markos Foros International Second Vice President of the Propeller Club of the United States, Vassilis Logothetis of Empros Lines, Ioannis Platsidakis of Anangel Maritime Services, Mr. Pavlos Stratis Andreadis of the Commercial Trading and Discount Co. , Mr. Costis Constantacopoulos of Costamare, Mr. George Prokopiou CEO of Dynacom Tankers, Mr. Marcos Tripolitis of Majestic International Cruises, Alexandros Tourkolias, General Director of Corporate and Investment of NBG, Demetrios Vassilakos, Director of Department of Shipping Business of NBG, Mr. Antonios Stamos, Faraklas of the Chartworld Shipping Corp., Despina Foros-Tsirozidis, General Secretary of the Board of Governors of the Propeller Club, Μr. Iakovos Perantinos of Atlantic Bulk Carriers, John Kalafatides of Chevron FAMM Hellas , Demetrios Zorbalas, members of the club, members of the Board of Governors, representatives of the shipping, banking community and press.

Amver thanks the Propeller Club, Port of Piraeus and the entire Greek shipping community for their support and dedication.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Amver Rescues 7 From Sunken Fishing Vessel 1,000 Miles East Of Bermuda

Seven crewmen were rescued by two Amver ships November 6, 2008 1,000 east of Bermuda when their fishing vessel, the Jose Almuina, sank in rough weather. Four crewmen remain missing as the international search effort continues.

At approximately 2:30 am (EST) Thursday, the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area Rescue Coordination Center received an emergency signal from the sinking fishing vessel and quickly diverted two Amver vessels, the tankers Navig8 Stealth II and SKS Mosel, to assist.

Amver, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

The Marshall Island flagged tanker Navig8 Stealth II, under the command of Captain S. S. Ghuman, was approximately 35 miles from the distress location when it battled strong winds and 15 foot seas to divert. Once the Navig8 Stealth II was within 5 miles of the sinking fishing vessel the crew sighted a flare shot from a life raft. Within seven hours of receiving the distress call the Navig8 Stealth II, managed by Navig8 Ship Management of Singapore, had rescued several survivors.

“We managed to rescue six survivors from the life raft,” Captain Ghuman stated in an email to rescue authorities, “all six are being treated for shock and being given food.” Shortly thereafter, the Norwegian flagged tanker SKS Mosel rescued another survivor clinging to a piece of debris.

The United States Coast Guard, in cooperation with search and rescue authorities from Britain, Spain, and Canada, is continuing to coordinate the search for the missing fishermen. The Amver ship Red Lily, a Panamanian flagged bulk carrier, has also been diverted to the scene.

The Navig8 Stealth II is a new Amver participant having enrolled in April. The SKS Mosel has been an Amver participant for five years while the Red Lily enrolled four years ago.

The survivors aboard the Navig8 Stealth II are bound for a U.S. port in the Gulf of Mexico while the SKS Mosel is set to dock in Corpus Christi, Texas with one survivor.

Photos courtesy of the crew of the M/V Navig8 Stealth II.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

M/T Parthenon Rescue update

The M/T Parthenon rescued four Swedish sailors off the coast of Portugal on September 28, 2008. The case was highlighted in an Amver press release and covered by the Euroweekly. To get an idea of the difficult weather conditions encountered by the survivors and rescuers watch this exclusive video shot from the bridge of the Parthenon.

Parthenon is owned and managed by the Tsakos Group of Athens, Greece. Tsakos is a strong supporter of Amver and we are grateful for their contribution of this dramatic rescue footage.

Amver Awards in Turkey

Many thanks to LCDR Daniel Van Buskirk, the US Coast Guard International Port Security Program representative based in Rotterdam, and Consul General Sharon Wiener for coordinating an Amver awards ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2008. The ceremony was held at the Consul General's residence.

Cornships Management; Deniz Nakliyatı T.A.Ş:; Geden Lines; Sunset Maritime Ltd.; and YaSa Shipping all received Amver awards. Geden Lines participated in the first Amver rescue of 2008 with the rescue of a 65 year old British sailor 655 miles north east of Bermuda. The story gained international media attention because the yachtsman called his favorite pub to report his distress.

Amver congratulates the Turkish award recipients and encourages other Turkish shipping companies to enroll.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Amver Participants

It's time once again to welcome the new participants who joined the Amver system in the past month. Here is the list of ships enrolling in October. 118 ships joined the ranks of mariner helping mariner.

Thank you to all the new participants to the Amver system. Because of your dedication Amver had an average of 3,597 vessels available to divert in October. That is the largest number of Amver vessels on the monthly plot in our 50 year history!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

M/V Vecchio Bridge rescue update

A few weeks ago the M/V Vecchio Bridge rescued a solo sailor about 700 miles off the coast of San Diego, CA. The rescue was highlighted in an Amver press release and in several sailing blogs.

The case came to a conclusion on October 21 when the Vecchio Bridge docked in Shanghai, China. On hand to meet the master and crew of the Amver vessel were representatives of the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai and United States Coast Guard. They presented an Amver pennant and certificate of merit to the master and crew for their efforts in the October 10th rescue.

Pictured from left to right are USCG Captain Bighaman, Captain O. Kyun (Master of the Vecchio Bridge), USCG Captain Vance, and Mr. Michael Layne of the U.S. Consulate General.

This case highlights the continued relevance of Amver. We are thankful for the cooperation of the USCG Liaison Officer to China, Captain George Vance, USCG Activities Far East, the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai staff, United States Coast Guard Pacific Area and Headquarters staff, and the Fukujin Kisen Company, managers of the Vecchio Bridge, for helping us organize this recognition ceremony.