Annual Maritime SAR Awards: Amver Award Winner

Container ship Joanna.

The Amver participating container ship Joanna saved 105 migrants off the coast of Libya Feb. 18, 2017.

The crew of the Joanna was sailing west of Crete, on a voyage to Italy, when the ship was notified by rescue authorities in Malta of a possible migrant or fishing vessel in distress. The crew of the Joanna located the wooden boat, which was holed and taking on water. On the boat were 105 African migrants, including three pregnant women and a number of children.

Despite choppy seas and high winds, the crew of the Joanna were able to secure the boat along side the 600-foot container ship. “Following the rescue of the migrants, we placed the pregnant women and children in ships accommodations while sheltering the remainder of the survivors on the deck, protected by the containers. We provided medical attention to the ill, food and blankets and notified FRONTEX of the rescue,” reported the ship’s captain to the Amver center.

The Joanna safely transferred the 105 survivors to Italian authorities the following day.

The Joanna, managed by Eurobulk of Greece, enrolled in Amver on November 2, 2001.

The captain and crew of the Joanna will be recognized during the AFRAS Capitol Hill maritime search and rescue awards ceremony in Washington DC, Sep. 13. The event will be hosted by Congressman Jason Lewis (R-MN) and is coordinated by the board and officers of AFRAS. The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as other senior maritime and congressional officials, will also attend.

The Amver Award was established in 1996 and is presented to a merchant vessel that is part of the world-wide Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, for recognition in taking part in a heroic rescue at sea anywhere in the world.