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Italian Coast Guard honoured for Med migrant rescue work

IMO secretary-general Lim Ki-tack this week presented the International Salvage Union (ISU) Meritorious Service Award to the Italian Coast Guard, in recognition of what were described as its “extraordinary efforts” in handling the Mediterranean migrant crisis.”

The award was received by the service’s head of plans and operations department, Nicola Carlone, at the ISU’s annual Associate Members’ Day Conference in London.

ISU president John Witte said he was honoured “to mark the great work done by the Italian Coast Guard over the past years and again this year in taking the lead in handling the huge numbers of migrants attempting to reach Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

“Their efforts have gone beyond boundaries,” he continued, “and have been undertaken regardless of circumstances and often at great personal risk. They have saved thousands of lives.”

Indeed, the valiant work of the Italian Coast Guard was featured in the 2016 documentary feature film ‘Fire at Sea’ which struck a chord with cinema audiences worldwide and was nominated for this year’s Oscars

Latest statistics released by the ISU indicate that its members provided 213 services to vessels carrying more than 2.5m tonnes of potentially polluting cargoes during operations in 2016.

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