Chinese Chief Officer to receive IMO bravery award

Chinese Chief Officer to receive IMO bravery award

The Chief Officer of a Chinese tanker will be given the International Maritime Organisation award for exceptional bravery at sea for his efforts to rescue two individuals from a life raft during severe weather last year.

Bo Xu, a Chinese national, was nominated for the award by China and impressed judges with his heroism in the rescue, going as far as jumping into the freezing water to help save the two survivors.

The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea is the IMO’s highest honor for bravery.

Bo Xu served as Chief Officer of the Chinese oil tanker Jian Qiao 502 on the morning of December 12, 2021, when they were alerted to a sinking cargo ship approximately 30 nautical miles northeast of Zhifu Bay and changed course to render assistance.

After one and a half hours of an exhaustive search, Xu spotted a drifting life raft filled with seawater and carrying two survivors. The Jian Qiao 502 headed for the raft and the crew quickly realised that both survivors were too weak to securely tie a rope to themselves.

It was at that point that Xu, without hesitation, jumped into the freezing waters and swam relentlessly towards the raft, battling high waves and strong currents. After several attempts, he reached and pulled himself to the raft and tied the ropes to the survivors, who were then successfully transferred to the deck with the help of other crew members.

Upon his return to the ship, Xu immediately performed emergency resuscitation on both survivors, despite fatigue and cold. Unfortunately, only one of the victims survived.

Chief Officer Bo Xu will be presented with award by the IMO Secretary-General at the IMO Awards Ceremony on November 2, 2022, during the 106th meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee,

Another five individuals or sets of nominees will receive certificates of commendation for their acts of bravery, while a further six will receive letters of commendation. 

In total, 41 nominations were received for the 2022 award from 17 Member States and two non-governmental organisations in consultative status with IMO. 

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