united states coast guard

R 201548 FEB 18
UNCLAS //N01650//
ALCOAST 073/18
1. This message announces the International Maritime Organization (IMO) solicitation for
nominations for the 2018 award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.
2. Background.
   a. This annual award provides international recognition for those who, at the risk of
losing their own lives, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding
courage in attempting to save lives at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage
to the marine environment.
   b. The recipients of the award will be invited to a special ceremony in London, United
Kingdom, to receive a medal and certificate in honor of the acts of exceptional bravery
performed. Travel expenses should be covered by the Unit, Area, or HQS Directorate
providing the nomination.
   c. Additional information on the award can be found at:
3. Past U.S. Recipients.
   a. The 2015 award was awarded to AST2 Christopher Leon, for saving the lives of four
people from a submerged ocean-going row boat, waterlogged in heavy seas, in turbulent
weather conditions, and sinking at night. With extraordinary strength and stamina, AST2 Leon
rescued three of the four boaters and remained behind with the last survivor for more than
two hours awaiting aircraft refueling operations. AST2 Leon protected the single survivor
from the breaking waves and frigid temperatures until reinforcements returned. With AST2
Leon’s perseverance, the crew of CG 6531 delivered the remaining survivor to awaiting
emergency medical services. LT Keyser, LT Black, and AET2 Spraggins crew of the U.S. Coast
Guard helicopter CG 6531, Air Station San Francisco, received certificates of commendation
from the IMO for their assistance in the rescue.
   b. A Certificate of commendation was awarded in 2017 to BM2 Hylkema of Station Grays
Harbor. The night of the rescue, the S/V Grace was facing 14-16 foot seas with winds
gusting to 55 knots and was unable to steer or maintain heading. In an attempt to reach
the nearby CG lifeboat the sole sailor onboard became tangled in a line and was being
dragged underwater. At great risk to his own life, BM2 Hylkema jumped into the water and
swam 150 feet to the man and cut him free from the line and held on to him as they were
pulled back to the lifeboat. 
   c. Additional information on past awards is archived at:, then click
"about IMO", "IMO events", and then "IMO Awards."
4. Nominations for the 2018 award are for actions performed during the period of 01MAR2017
to 28FEB2018. Guidelines for the award and the nomination template are located at:
   a. Although there is no limit to the number of nominations per country, generally no
country submits more than two nominations per year.
   b. U.S. nominations for this award are not limited to Coast Guard personnel and many
recipients of this award have included civilians and merchant mariners. The 2017 award was
presented to two maritime pilots, Captain McGee and Captain Phillips, who defied fire to
bring a burning tankship to safety & averted a major catastrophe in the port of Houston.
   c. Units have the unique ability to become aware of heroic acts of the maritime industry
and the inherent dangers associated with maritime activities through daily exchanges with
the public. Units are highly encouraged to nominate candidates who meet the criteria,
regardless of their affiliation with the USCG.
   d. All nominations which meet the nomination criteria of the IMO will be considered by
the U.S. for submittal to the IMO.
5. The deadline to submit nominations to COMDT (CG-5PS) is 30MAR2018. Request all
submissions be routed through respective District and Area Commands, and be submitted
electronically to for final COMDT (CG-5PS) clearance. COMDT (CG-5PS) will
submit nominations to the IMO.
6. For questions contact LCDR Eustacia Weist, COMDT (CG-5PS), at 202-372-1376, or email:
7. Mr. Jeffrey G. Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, sends.
8. Internet release authorized.