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Radhika Menon: First woman in the world to get Bravery Award at Sea by IMO

It took three strenuous attempts in the harsh wind and rain and strong waves before Menon could rescue all seven frail and famished fishermen, aged between 15-50 years

  • Captain Menon will be the first woman worldwide to receive a bravery award at sea by IMO
  • She was nominated by the Government of India for displaying immense courage while saving all the fishermen on the fishing boat Durgamma
  • This year’s Awards ceremony will take place at IMO Headquarters, on November 21, at the end of the first day of the Maritime Safety Committee

Radhika Menon, the first female captain in Indian Merchant Navy is all set to receive the 2016 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea after she played a key role in rescuing seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in June last year.

Captain Menon will be the first woman worldwide to receive a bravery award at sea by IMO. The IMO council, which met for its 116th session in London, advocated this decision of a panel of judges.

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She was nominated by the Government of India for displaying immense courage while saving all the fishermen on the fishing boat Durgamma.

“The boat had drifted from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh all the way to Gopalpur in Odisha when it was spotted by Menon’s team in June last year,” reported TOI.

Radhika Menon Image Source: The New Indian Express
Radhika Menon Image Source: The New Indian Express

The fishermen’s families had lost all hopes to find them and were preparing for their last rites when they received calls about their miraculous rescue.

Apparently, food and water had also been washed away and they were surviving on ice from the cold storage.

While the wave heights were more than 25 feet, and winds were more than 60 knots among heavy rain, on June 22, the second officer Menon on ‘Sampurna Swarajya’ of Shipping Corporation of India, managed to save all the lives.

Spotting the boat 2.5 kilometers away, off the coast of Gopalpur, Menon instantly ordered a rescue operation, with the help of the pilot ladder, life jackets, and buoys ready on call.

It took three strenuous attempts in the harsh wind and rain and strong waves before Menon could rescue all seven frail and famished fishermen, aged between 15-50.

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In an email to TOI, Menon said, “I am humbled, honoured and grateful.”

She added, “It is a maritime obligation to save souls in distress at sea and, as a seafarer and master in command of my ship, I just did my duty.”

This annual Award was established by IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery to save life at sea or attempt to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.

This year’s Awards ceremony will take place at IMO Headquarters, on November 21, at the end of the first day of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), says Handy Shipping Guide.

-prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

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