united states coast guard

R 061509 FEB 19
UNCLAS //N01650//
ALCOAST 032/19
1. This ALCOAST announces the International Maritime Organization (IMO) solicitation for
nominations for the 2019 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
   b. The recipient/s 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:
       click about IMO
       click IMO events
       click IMO Awards
4. Nominations for the 2019 award are for actions performed during the period of 01MAR2018
to 28FEB2019. 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. Action.
   a. The deadline to submit nominations to COMDT (CG-5PS) is 29MAR2019.
   b. 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. POC: LCDR Eustacia Weist, COMDT (CG-5PS), at: 202-372-1376 or
7. Mr. Jeffrey G. Lantz, Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, sends.
8. Internet release is authorized.