Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
At the Port of Guam on 10 August the US Coast Guard recognized mariners aboard the CGA CGM Herodote for their action to save lives in March this year.
Captain Nick Simmons, US Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam, presented Captain Donald Moore and the crew a Coast Guard Certificate of Merit for their efforts to rescue fishers more than 100 miles off Japan after their vessel suffered a fire on 21 March.
Simmons said: ‘The efforts of Captain Moore and his crew honour the nautical tradition of assisting fellow mariners. Their bias for action and commitment were on display that day. Merchant mariners are an integral part of the global search and rescue enterprise, and especially in the vast Pacific, they are essential to saving lives.’
The USCG Citation reads:
Certificate of Merit to
Captain Donald M Moore and the crew of mv CMA CGM Herodote
The CMA CGM Herodote crew are awarded the Coast Guard Certificate of Merit for significant and beneficial contributions to the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue (SAR) mission.
On 21 March 2022, while underway on a voyage from Saipan, CNMI*, to Hakata, Japan, your crew observed smoke and flames on the horizon from a fishing vessel approximately eight nautical miles from your vessel’s position and 107 nautical miles from Tanegashima Island, Japan. You immediately diverted towards the observed fire and discovered the Japanese fishing vessel Yuujin Maru No. 51 was completely engulfed in flames from the superstructure to the waterline with no visible name or designating marks, and no visible signs of survivors. The crew of the CMA CGM Herodote took immediate action to search for survivors, made radio broadcasts for assistance from vessels in the area, contacted USCG District 14 Command Center Honolulu and further coordinated SAR efforts with the Japan Coast Guard. You remained on scene and provided invaluable real-time information to SAR experts. The CMA CGM Herodote was joined by the Greece-flagged tanker Woodside Rogers to assist with the response and soon located three persons in the water, who were then recovered by the Woodside Rogers. It was discovered that a total of eight crewmembers were onboard the Yuujin Maru No. 51, comprised of six Indonesian and two Japanese nationals. CMA CGM Herodote continued to search for survivors until relieved by Japanese Coast Guard air and surface assets approximately seven hours after the initial sighting. Although no further survivors were found, your efforts preserved the lives of three mariners. The CMA CGM Herodote crew are most heartily commended for your exemplary preparedness, excellent communication and coordination skills, and meritorious public service to the maritime community in support of the United States Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue mission. Thank you for your selfless efforts and service.
Simmons added that the crew was very humble about what they had done and only noted the event as required in their logbook, later read by Coast Guard marine inspectors on a routine visit to the ship.
He commented: ‘We are very pleased to recognize this team, and without their help, more mariners would have perished that day. Maritime transport is the backbone of the global economy, and we feel that acutely here in Guam, where around 90% of goods come into the island through the port. The partnerships we have with industry here are vital to our way of life and security.’
The presentation came as Herodote’s crew called on Guam for delivery as part of their regular shipping route. Representatives from APL, CGA CGM’s parent company, joined the US Coast Guard team. CMA CGM Herodote is a 558-foot loa US-flagged container ship.
*Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
At the Port of Guam on 10 August Captain Nick Simmons, US Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam commander with Captain Donald Moore and the crew of CGA CGM Herodote and Charlie Hermosa, general manager in Guam for CGA CGM and APL.
US Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir.