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Chinese Chief Officer Selected for IMO Bravery Award

Mr. Bo Xu, Chief Officer of the oil tanker Jian Qiao 502, is to receive the 2022 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea, in recognition of his bravery, determination and endurance when rescuing two individuals in a liferaft near Zhifu Bay in northern China, in severe weather and heavy seas.

On the morning of 12 December 2021, the cargo ship Tian Feng 369 experienced bad weather, flooded and began to sink 30 nautical miles northeast of Zhifu Bay. The tanker Jian Qiao 502, which was en-route to Port of Dongguan, changed course without delay to assist the vessel in distress.

After one and a half hours of exhaustive search, chief officer Bo 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 realized that both survivors were too weak to securely tie a rope to themselves.

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

On his return to the ship, the chief officer immediately performed emergency resuscitation on both survivors, despite the fatigue and cold he still suffered. Eventually, one of the rescued survived and the other, regrettably, passed away due to hypothermia.

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