Mumbai: The U.S. Consulate General Mumbai today hosted an award ceremony recognizing 26 Indian shipping companies that participated in the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) voluntary AMVER program, with the Indian Director General (DG) of Shipping Dr. Malini V. Shankar as the Chief Guest. The Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) ensures quick and efficient rescue of disabled and distressed ships at sea, saving lives and ensuring continuity of shipping operations.
Before presenting the awards, U.S. Consul General Edgard Kagan said that, “AMVER is an excellent example of mutual assistance and partnership. These awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognize Indian merchant mariners and their efforts to facilitate world trade while preserving safety at sea. It also reflects US-India dosti and collaboration that saves lives and improves efficiencies for everyone.”
Indian Director General (DG) of Shipping Dr. Malini V. Shankar presented the awards along with Consul General Edgard Kagan. In her remarks, DG Shankar said, “AMVER is a unique and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide to arrange for assistance to ships in distress at sea. Instead of relying solely on specialized rescue operations, this initiative provides an excellent opportunity for mutual cooperation on seas. AMVER has proven to be an enduring example of international public-private partnership.”
AMVER is a USCG-managed search and rescue program in which merchant ships make themselves available for maritime emergency response on a volunteer basis without regard to nationality and with the end objective that no call for help should go unanswered. AMVER was established by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1958, meaning that the program is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee (60th anniversary) of providing assistance to those in distress on the high seas.
More than 140 nations currently participate in AMVER, providing a global safety network for mariners, comprising more than 7,850 ships available to carry out search and rescue services. In 2017, AMVER mobilized 103 ships to provide assistance or help locate those in need, helping save 153 lives and assist 21 ships.