Stolt-Nielsen honored for heroic Vietnamese rescue

Crew of Stolt-Nielsen S.A.’s vessel, Stolt Capability, was on February 18 presented the 12th annual Lloyd’s List International Rescue at Sea Award for 2003 at the Lloyd’s List Awards 2004 Gala held in London.
     The crew of Stolt Capability was named the recipient of the award for rescuing crew of Vietnam-registered vessel Hoang Dat 35 on October 21 last year while the Norwegian vessel was en route from Hong Kong to Kuantan in Malaysia.
     Stolt Capability received the first distress call from the Hoang Dat 35, with 16 crew aboard, while the two vessels were eight miles apart. Stolt Capability immediately altered course and when she reached the Hoang Dat 35, the Vietnamese ship was in imminent danger of sinking.
     The rain, wind and rough sea with heavy swell made it impossible for the Stolt Capability to go alongside the sinking ship or even to lower the rescue boat. The crew of Hoang Dat 35 had to use their flotation devices so that they could be plucked from the water.
     After about an hour of intense efforts, twelve cold and exhausted crew were safely on board Stolt Capability. Despite heroic efforts, two other crew members of the mishap vessel expired before being brought abroad. When the Hoang Dat 35 disappeared from radar, two men remained missing but one of them was later sighted a few miles away and brought aboard. The rescued men were delivered to Nha Trang, Vietnam, the nearest port.
     The Hoang Dat 35 was delivering timber from Malaysia to Hai Phong, Vietnam, when she was reportedly hit by whirlwinds.
     Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen S.A., said the entire Stolt-Nielsen organization joined the US Coast Guard and Lloyd’s List in honoring Capt. Vukovic and the entire crew of the Stolt Capability.
     “We are enormously proud of these individuals, whose actions heroically upheld the greatest of all maritime traditions,” he said.
     Underwritten by Lloyd’s List, the International Rescue at Sea Award was established in 1992 to recognize “the rescue of the year” by the officers and crew of a vessel participating in the United States Coast Guard’s Amver Ship Reporting System during a calendar year.
     AMVER (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue) is a voluntary, worldwide ship reporting system, involving ships from 143 nations.
     Norway’s Stolt-Nielsen is one of the world’s leading providers of transportation services for bulk liquid chemicals, edible oils, acids, and other specialty liquids.

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