We are very pleased to announce that the United States Coast Guard have presented a Meritorious Public Service Award to David Jardine-Smith, a member of the IMRF secretariat for 9 years and currently our Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) project manager.

The award was presented at the recent meeting of the ICAO / IMO Joint Working Group on SAR, which David has often attended, and was accepted on his behalf by Stein Solberg of JRCC Stavanger, Norway, who – as well as being his country’s maritime member of the Joint Working Group – represented the IMRF at this year’s meeting.

We are delighted that Stein was similarly honoured by the Coast Guard, in recognition of his years of expert SAR service.

David’s award citation noted his work at the Joint Working Group, for the IMRF and, earlier, as the UK’s maritime member, and also his work on MROs.

He has, reads the citation, “advocated tirelessly to increase international awareness of the urgent need to plan for these low probability, high consequence and often deadly events”. His “dedication and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard”.

David says “It was a great surprise – in both senses of that phrase – to learn that the United States Coast Guard have given me this award."

"I am honoured, of course; but also humbled. My friends and colleagues in SAR all know that we do what we do because we have to. We are in the deeply fortunate position of being able to do something, even if it’s only a little, to help save lives. It’s a humanitarian necessity."

"It’s also a great privilege. Part of that privilege, for me, has been that of working with SAR people from around the world. This work has shown me that there is always hope for humanity – because there are people who will reach out a hand to those in distress, whoever they are; who will devote their lives to making things better; not for rewards but because it is in their very nature."

"It is simply a huge privilege to be a part of this global SAR family, with whom I would like to share this prestigious award.

Left Photo: Stein Solberg is presented his award by Captain Christina Davidson of the USCG.

Photo Credit: Andreas Bull

Top Photo: David Jardine-Smith with his medal.