In November, for the first time ever the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was given to a woman!

Captain Radhika Menon, the first female captain in the Indian Merchant Navy, is now also the first female Captain to receive the prestigious award. The annual award was established by the IMO “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.”

Menon was nominated by the government of India, and resoundingly approved by the Panel of Judges to be the 2016, and first female recipient, for rescuing seven fishermen stranded at sea. According to an IMO press release announcing the Award, “Captain Menon displayed great determination and courage in leading the difficult rescue operation in the Bay of Bengal in June last year.”

Rescue at Sea!

Menon is the Master of the oil tanker, the Sampurna Swarajya. On June 22, ploughing through swells topping more than 25 feet, and enduring winds greater than 60 knots, Menon mounted a rescue effort after her second officer spotted the fishing boat Durgamma, in trouble and adrift, more than a mile away from their position.

It took Menon and her crew three grueling attempts in the pounding wind, rain and heavy swells before all seven fishermen were rescued and brought to safety — weak, starving, suffering from exposure — but alive!

The fishermen ranged in age from 15 to 50 years old, and had been missing for some time before the tanker chanced upon them. Their families had already considered them to be lost at sea, but thanks to the efforts of Captain Menon and her crew, they were reunited with their loved ones a few days later.

Captain Menon received her award at a ceremony at the IMO’s London headquarters on November 21, 2016.


Choosing a Captain and On Demand Yachting  

From legendary fictional figures such as Captain Kirk and Captain Jack Sparrow, to the real world bravery of Captain Menon, and the thousands of other commercial and military Masters like her, a ship’s captain is the epitome of respect, bravery and authority. Finding the right one for your luxury motor yacht, is probably one of the most important decisions you will make to ensure the safe and efficient operation or your vessel.

A yacht Captain must be an experienced seaman. Anyone capable of captaining a luxury motor yacht should have vast experience with ships and their operation. To be a yacht Captain, may not require an Award of Bravery, but any captain worth  his or her salt, will have likely worked their way on up through the ranks either in commercial, or industrial marine operations, or the military. Captains must be proven leaders, who can manage crew as well as gain the respect and confidence of the owner and all aboard.

Our unique On Demand Yachting solution can help you find the right crew for your motor yacht, including a Captain!

We will help you to define your needs, and the needs of your particular vessel, and then match you with the Captain who is the best fit.


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Operating a motor yacht can be costly. Putting your boat in Charter can earn income, and defray some of the costs of ownership. On Demand Yachting from FYM can show you how. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.