First Vietnamese receives IMO bravery award hinh anh 1At the award ceremony (Photo: VNA)

London (VNA) – Tran Van Khoi, a member of Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre No.II based in Da Nang under the Vietnam Maritime Administration, has been honoured with the 2021 International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

An award ceremony was held at the IMO headquarters in London, the UK on December 6.

He is the first Vietnamese to be honoured with the award.

As Khoi could not come to the ceremony due to COVID-19, a short video showing he and his colleagues braved extreme weather and heavy seas to rescue four sailors in the sunken cargo vessel Vietship 01, was screened at the event.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim spoke highly of Khoi’s acts which helped save many lives during the incident off Quang Tri waters in October.

First Vietnamese receives IMO bravery award hinh anh 2(Photo: Vietnam Maritime Administration)

This annual award is to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.

Prior to the award ceremony, the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim received Charge d'Affaires of Vietnam to the UK To Minh Thu, during which the former hoped that Vietnam will continue to introduce nominations to the award in upcoming years.

Vietnam holds huge potential in maritime development thanks to its long coastline, he said, affirming that the IMO is willing to cooperate and support Vietnam in the field.

For her part, Thu pledged that Vietnam highly valued maritime economy development at large and the maritime industry in particular, and stands ready to partner with regional countries in the field, particularly in search and rescue.

Vietnam is to run for membership in Category (c) of the IMO Council in 2023, she said, hoping that Lim will show his support for the country's effort./.