AMVER – the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System: What are the AMVER Awards?

April 24th – The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is honored to be hosting the United States Coast Guard’s AMVER Awards Ceremony following the Safety at Sea Seminar during National Maritime Week. This event will take place on May 22nd at ABS’ (American Bureau of Shipping) Office at 80 M Street in Washington D.C.

Originating as the Atlantic Merchant Vessel Emergency Reporting System, AMVER became operational in 1958 as an experimental design confined to the region of the North Atlantic Ocean. Vice Admiral Alfred C. Richmond Coast Guard Commandant at the time called on all commercial vessels over 1,000 gross tons and voyaging over 24 hours to voluntarily become participants in the program. In 1971, the program expanded globally, requiring a change of name with a computer mainframe at the Department of Transportation System Center. The Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) was established to recognize the voluntary participation of merchant ships in the global rescue system with worldwide participation showing companies and ships’ dedication and commitment to safety at sea. The idea of the AMVEER systems has roots linked to the sinking of Titanic in 1912, when vessels passed within sight of the sinking ship and unaware of its situation.

The awards for participation in the program are given yearly, and in recent years have been included in NAMEPA’s annual Safety at Sea Seminar, this year hosted by ABS. Pennants showing the different anniversary colors can be found aboard ships, company board rooms, reception areas and so much more. Requirements for participation in this program are vessels with 128 days on the AMVER plot calendar year, and vessels that have continuous participation in the AMVER program before and after their shipyard period. The colors of the pennants include blue, gold and purple each with their own significance. A blue pennant is for completing the first year of AMVER and being honored for the first time. Gold is for a vessel completing five consecutive years and purple is for completing ten consecutive years.

This year the global AMVER program has had 170 AMVER cases reported with 771 survivors rescued, and 240 lives assisted. The most lives saved by a vessel was 219 by Cruise/Ship Celebrity Beyond. The M/V Copper Spirit saved 107 lives and M/V Mayan Queen IV saved 100 lives. US ships saved a total of 294 lives and 504 US ships earned awards this year. The awards will be presented

by Admiral Linda Fagan, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on May 22nd during National Maritime Week.


NAMEPA’s National Maritime Week Events:  

Safety at Sea Seminar, AMVER & Benkert Awards 

May 22nd, 1300 – 1700 (Networking working lunch from 1200-1300) Space is limited, register now by visiting: Safety at Sea Seminar, AMVER & Benkert Awards

Sponsors for the event to date include ABS, The American Club, Blank Rome, Cargill, Chevron, CLIA, DNV, Fairfield Chemical, International Seaways, Maritime Procurement Services, Navios, the Pasha Group, Port Everglades, and Scorpio Group.

NAMEPA Washington, D.C. – Metropolitan Regional Gathering  

May 23rd, 1000 – 1400 Focusing on Workforce Development Space is limited, register now by visiting: NAMEPA Washington D.C. Regional Gathering

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