News

Exceptional search and rescue teams, outstanding individuals and innovative technology from around the world have been recognised in the annual IMRF Award.

The daughter of Vladimir Maksimov, presenting the IMRF Award for lifetime achievement in her father’s memory, described his life being dedicated to the service of others, a dedication shared by maritime SAR professionals around the world who together create a legacy that defines what it is to be human.


CEO, Theresa Crossley added: “Natalie Maksimov’s heartfelt tribute to her father and this years’ IMRF Award winners acknowledges the dedication shown by SAR professionals worldwide. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists in this year’s awards. They are an inspiration to us all and demonstrate the incredible skill and expertise of so many SAR professionals around the world, who every day show extraordinary skill and courage in their actions to save lives at sea in all kinds of conditions and weather.”

All the search and rescue (SAR) winners and finalists were presented with their awards by Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO CB ADC at a presentation ceremony held on HQS Wellington, on the second day of London International Shipping Week (Tuesday, 10 September 2019).

The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations

Captain HUANG Zhibin who led a complex helicopter rescue in a super typhoon, involving a cargo ship with nine crew stranded onboard.

The Award for Outstanding Team Contribution to Maritime SAR Operations

Awarded to Marine Rescue Port Macquarie in Australia for their successful multiagency rescue which took place when a 10m motor cruiser hit rocks at speed, resulting in severe injuries to all three passengers.

The Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Maritime SAR Sector

Awarded to Arthur Allen of the US Coast Guard for his work over the last 35 years advising the US Coast Guard on the impact of ocean currents and winds on the location of people, vessels or aircraft in distress. The results of his research are used for training around the world and has helped to save countless lives at sea.

The Innovation and Technology Award in the Field of Maritime SAR

Presented to Phillip Hanson and the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency for the agency’s work using drones and other remotely controlled assets to improve future search and rescue operations.

The Inaugural IMRF’s Women in SAR Award

This was launched this year in support of the IMO’s Empowering Women in Maritime campaign, has been presented to Isobel Tugwell, a young crew member at the RNLI Shoreham Lifeboat Station in the UK.

The IMRF’s People’s Choice Award

This award went to the nomination securing the most votes from the public on Facebook and Sina Weibo was presented to Coastguard New Zealand, Surf Life Saving Kariotahi, New Zealand Police, Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust, recognising their successful completion of a large, complex multi-agency search and rescue operation to save a man, woman and a child thrown into freezing water when their small boat flipped over.

The IMRF Special Recognition Award

presented to David Jardine-Smith.


The Judges

The judges of the IMRF Awards 2019 were: Michael Vlasto (Former IMRF Chair and Chair of the Awards Judging Panel); Pat Quealey (immediate past CEO, Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue); Nigel Clifford (General Manager Safety and Response, Maritime New Zealand); Jared Blows (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Chief, MRCC Cape Town, South Africa); Stein Solberg (formerly of JRCC Stavanger, Norway).

The judges for the Women in SAR Award were: Alison Horrocks (Chief Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary, Inmarsat), Frances Baskerville (Secretary General, Comité International Radio Maritime CIRM), Peter Broadhurst (Vice President Yachting, Passenger & Safety, Inmarsat).


The IMRF is Grateful for the Kind Support of its Sponsors

Inmarsat, the global satellite owner and operator providing mobile and fixed communications services to the maritime industry, is sponsoring the Vladimir Maksimov Lifetime Achievement Award and the Women In SAR Award - www.inmarsat.com 

CM Hammar, whose vision is to substantially reduce loss of life at sea by creating better solutions for safety at sea is sponsoring the Team Award - www.cmhammar.com

Pole Star, which has been proudly serving the maritime sector by increasing safety and security at sea for 20 years, is sponsoring the Innovation and Technology Award - www.polestarglobal.com

Navigate PR sponsored The People’s Choice Award - www.navigatepr.com