The Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) and the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia co-organized a ceremony in Limassol on November 29, 2016 to recognize shipping companies participating in the U.S. Coast Guard’s voluntary AMVER program. AMVER, which stands for Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue, is a mutual assistance program for craft in distress on the high seas.
AMVER is open to vessels of all flags and nations. Companies participating in this program voluntarily make their ships available as rescue assets in the event of an emergency. Prior to sailing, participating ships send a sail plan, indicating their port of departure, port of destination, course and speed to the AMVER computer center. This data is processed, using a system of dead reckoning, and AMVER is able to project the position of each ship at any point during its voyage. In an emergency, any rescue coordination center can request this data to determine the relative position of AMVER ships near a mariner, vessel, or aircraft in distress.
From its inception in 1958, AMVER has provided 58 years of search and rescue services around the world. More than 140 nations currently participate in AMVER, providing a global safety network for mariners, comprising more than 7,000 ships available to carry out search and rescue services. In 2015, AMVER mobilized 135 ships to provide assistance or help locate those in need, helping save 432 lives and assist 22 ships from 9 different nations.
U.S. Ambassador Kathleen Doherty presented the awards on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard, recognizing participating mariners and the companies they represent. In her remarks, Ambassador Doherty said “AMVER is an excellent example of mutual assistance and partnership. Instead of relying solely on specialized rescue operations provided by governments or official organizations—which can be overburdened or far away from the point of need—AMVER provides a way for whoever is in the area to help out. AMVER’s success in protecting lives and property at sea stems from international cooperation between ships, companies, communication service providers, governments, and, of course, search-and-rescue authorities.”
The 22 Cyprus-based companies that received awards for their participation in AMVER in 2015 were (in alphabetical order):
- Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Cyprus) Ltd;
- Caroil Transport Marine Ltd;
- Columbia cruise Services Ltd;
- Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd;
- Cymare Shipmanagement Ltd;
- Diana Wilhelmsen Management Ltd;
- Donnelly Tanker Management Ltd;
- Enesel Ltd;
- Executive Ship Management Pte Ltd;
- FML Ship Management Ltd;
- Interorient Marine Services Ltd;
- Intership Navigation Co Ltd;
- Lemissoler Shipmanagement Ltd;
- Maestro Ship Management Ltd;
- Marlow Navigation Co Ltd;
- Mastermind Shipmanagement Ltd;
- MSC Shipmanagement Ltd;
- Safe Bulkers Management Ltd;
- SMT Shipping (Cyprus) Ltd;
- Star Bulk Shipmanagement Co (Cyprus) Ltd;
- Unicom Management Services (Cyprus) Ltd;
- Uniqa Marine Management Ltd.
For more information on this unique worldwide search and rescue system, please visit: www.AMVER.com.