Coast Guard helps recognize AMVER vessels during Singapore Maritime Week

SINGAPORE — Personnel with the U.S. Coast Guard Activities Far East helped recognize more than 500 ships from 50 Singapore-based companies at an official ceremony held April 22, 2009 here.

Part of the Sea Asia 2009 Conference and the larger events of Singapore’s Maritime Week, the ceremony paid tribute to crews and shipping companies for their dedication and participation in the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) System during 2008. The ceremony was held with assistance from the Singapore Shipping Association, Seatrade, and the Sea Asia 2009 organizers.

Lt. Eric Stahl of Coast Guard Activities Far East spoke about AMVER and the awards during the ceremony.

“The mariners and shipping companies that carry out the AMVER mission deserve our thanks and admiration,” said Lt. Eric Stahl of Coast Guard Activities Far East. “As the maritime safety and security situation constantly changes around us, it is comforting to know that so many make a concerted effort, day in and day out, to provide for the safety of those in need on the high seas.”

The AMVER System is a voluntary ship reporting system used by search and rescue authorities worldwide to assist persons in distress on the high seas. Search and rescue coordinators, using AMVER plot information, contact ships in an area of distress and ask them to render assistance.

AMVER was established in 1958 to quickly provide search and rescue authorities with accurate, on-demand information on the positions and characteristics of vessels near a reported distress. AMVER-participant vessels have saved more than 2,000 lives since 1990, including 249 in 2008.

Ships participating in AMVER are recognized based on the number of days per year they appear on AMVER’s plot as well as for consecutive years of participation. Awards were presented to ships with a single year’s participation as well as ships with 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 consecutive years of participation.

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

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