October 8, 2022
The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia and the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC), in cooperation also with the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA), co-organized a ceremony in Limassol on October 7 to recognize shipping companies participating in the U.S. Coast Guard’s AMVER program. AMVER, which stands for Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue, helps guide merchant shipping to assist vessels 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. In an emergency, AMVER is able to project the position of participating ships sailing in the vicinity of a mariner, vessel, or aircraft in distress. This service is provided at no cost to participants or to those rescued.
From its inception in 1958, AMVER has provided 64 years of search and rescue services around the world. In 2021, there were 200 instances in which AMVER was activated, resulting in 224 lives saved. Hundreds of ships contributed to saving lives and participating in searches for those in distress. The AMVER system saw the number of ships available for search and rescue exceed 6,700 each day.
U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber presented the awards on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard, recognizing participating mariners and their companies. In her remarks, Amb. Garber said that AMVER was 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 to draw upon help in the region when time is of the essence. 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.
These are the 20 great, Cyprus-based companies that received awards for their participation in AMVER in 2021 — many of them, for multiple ships under their management (in alphabetical order):
- Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Cyprus) Ltd.;
- Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd.;
- CSM Energy Ltd.;
- Enesel Ltd.;
- FML Ship Management;
- Interorient Marine Services;
- Intership Navigation Co. Ltd.;
- Lazien Services Ltd.;
- Lemissoler Shipmanagement Ltd.;
- Maestro Ship Management Ltd.;
- Marlow Navigation Co. Ltd.;
- Mastermind Shipmanagement Ltd.;
- Matrix Ship Management Ltd.;
- MSC Shipmanagement Ltd.;
- Olympia Ocean Carriers Ltd.;
- Safe Bulkers Management Ltd.;
- Samos Steamship Cyprus Ltd.;
- Star Bulk Shipmanagement Co.;
- Transmed Shipping Co. Ltd.; and
- Villar Shipmanagement Ltd.
For more information on this unique worldwide search and rescue system, please visit: www.AMVER.com.