MUMBAI - The United States Consulate in Mumbai on Monday awarded 26 Indian shipping companies which participated in the US Coast Guard (USCG)'s Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) programmes. The AMVER in a worldwide initiative that ensures quick and efficient rescue of disabled or distressed ships at sea, saving the lives of sailors and ensuring continuity of shipping operations.
US Consul-General in Mumbai Edgard Kagan said that AMVER, now in its Diamond Jubilee year, is an excellent example of mutual assistance and partnership. "These awards are an opportunity to recognize the Indian merchant mariners and their efforts to facilitate world trade while preserving safety at sea," Kagan said. Presenting the awards jointly with Kagan, India's Director-General of Shipping Malini V. Shankar said that AMVER is a unique and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide to arrange for assistance to ships and sailors in distress at sea. "Instead of relying only on specialized rescue operations, this initiative provides an excellent opportunity for mutual cooperation on the seas. AMVER is an enduring example of international public-private partnership," Shankar added. Established in 1958 and managed by the USCG, AMVER is a search-and-rescue (SAR) programme in which merchant ships sailing the high seas make themselves available for maritime emergency response on a voluntary basis without regard to nationality but with the main objective that no call for help should go unresponded. Over 140 nations are participating in AMVER, providing a global safety net for mariners, comprising more than 7,850 ships available to carry out SAR services worldwide. In 2017, AMVER mobilized 103 ships for providing such assistance to distressed ships and helped save 153 lives of mariners.