The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Transport and Local Government, presented the International Maritime Organization (IMO) special recognition award to Campbell Shipping Company Limited (“Campbell”), December 14, 2017, at the Ministry’s offices. The award was received by Captain Rajesh Dhadwal, Managing Director/CEO of Campbell Shipping, on behalf of the entire Campbell team of over 400 people on board and ashore. The award was received for the effort of the crew of CS Caprice who rescued over 510 migrants. Article 98 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and regulation V/33 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea places duty on ships trading worldwide, to assist those in distress or in danger of being lost at sea.
The recent Mediterranean migrant crisis saw one of the greatest movements of displaced persons and caused grave concerns to the lives of migrants crossing the sea in grossly overloaded, unsafe vessels resulting in the loss of thousands of lives. In the period from January 2014 to December 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea alone, over 1,350 merchant vessels diverted from their intended voyage to rescue over 57,000 mixed migrants in danger of being lost at sea, a number unprecedented in history.
CS Caprice, a vessel managed by Campbell shipping, on 22nd October 2014, was called upon for an unprecedented task to rescue 510 migrants, which included men, women, and children. The extraordinary efforts, great skills, courage, professionalism and selfless concerns for others was demonstrated by the Campbell Shipping team to undertake the successful rescue operations without any loss of lives. After the rescue operations the team of CS Caprice, comprising 20 crew, ensured all 510 migrants were cared for including safety, food, and clothing, medical attention for days before they safely disembarked. The IMO special recognition was issued to commend the Campbell ship and all the team members for their bravery, professionalism, and compassion embodying the highest traditions of the sea.
CS Caprice rescue operations, to present, remains the largest successful operations undertaken by a commercial vessel in modern history. In addition to the award, the Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, sent a communication to the Company, which conveyed the commendation of the IMO Assembly in which he stated “I also wish to take this opportunity to add my own warm appreciation for your remarkable effort, of which you can be rightly proud. The bravery, professionalism, and compassion, embodying the highest tradition of the sea, displayed by all of you are truly noteworthy.”
International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in London. The IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented. The Bahamas is a member of the of the IMO’s executive council. Campbell Shipping is the ship management branch of the Campbell Group of Companies, originally founded and established by Scottish Naval Architect, George T. R. Campbell. The Company maintains its principal office in Nassau, The Bahamas, and operates an office in Mumbai, India.