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Admiral Lord West of Spithead has presented the 2009 Merchant Navy Medal recipients with their award

Admiral Lord West of Spithead has presented the Merchant Navy Medal to ten merchant seafarers and five honoris causa recipients at formal ceremony held at Trinity House, Tower Hill in London today on Monday 30 November.

This year's recipients come from across the UK and have been recognized for their exceptional service and acts of courage afloat.

Captain Matthew Easton, Chairman of the Merchant Navy Medal said: "The Merchant Navy Medal, was established in 2005 as part of the bicentennial Trafalgar celebrations, and in just five years has achieved solid industry recognition and endorsement.

"The medal offers an invaluable and prestigious means of recognizing seafarers of exceptional merit, while highlighting the importance and value of the maritime industry.

"Each year the judges have to select the recipients from an outstanding selection of high calibre nominees. These people are very special, acting as a source of inspiration for those working in the Merchant Navy and a beacon for those considering a career in the sector."

Friends and family of the medal recipients attended the presentation ceremony, together with representatives from across the Merchant Navy.

Those attending included; Robin Knox-Johnson an ex-merchant seafarer himself, Michael Grey former editor of Lloyd's List and 2008 medal recipient, Edmund Brookes Deputy Director General of the Chamber of Shipping and Nigel Palmer Chairman of the Merchant Navy Training Board.

The medal was founded as a charitable initiative with the support of the Chamber of Shipping, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the RMT and other trade unions, professional organisations and senior British seafarers.

The Merchant Navy Medal is awarded to exceptional individuals, irrespective of rank, area of industry. Nominations can be submitted at any time of year, but the judging for takes place in August.

THE RECIPIENTS OF THE 2009 MERCHANT NAVY MEDAL ARE:

Capt. E.H. Beetham for services to merchant shipping, to safety at sea and to the Marine Society/Sea Cadets.

Capt. N. Cooper, Master, MAERSK MARYLAND (A.P. Moller/Maersk) for services to merchant shipping and to the Nautical Institute.

Capt. J.S. Earl for services to merchant shipping and to the Bristol Branch of the Merchant Navy Association.

Chief Engineer W. Findlay, Associate Lecturer, Warsash Maritime Academy, Southampton Solent University for services to marine engineer education and to the Guild of Benevolence, Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology.

Capt. J.R. Harper, Master, RRS ERNEST SHACKLETON (British Antarctic Survey) for services to polar exploration, especially ice navigation and pilotage.

Capt. P.G. Stapleton, Master, HURST POINT (Foreland Shipping) for brave conduct in attempted hijack of MV BOULARIBANK, Gulf of Aden, April, 2009.

Chief Engineer J. Parry, Consultant, BP Shipping for services to merchant shipping, especially the design and operation of LNG tankers.

Mr. I.C. Petrie Communications Officer, WIND STAR (Windstar Cruises) for services to merchant shipping, especially cruise ships.

Capt. J. Pinder, RNR, Port Hydrographer, Port of London Authority for services to the Port of London and to youth maritime training.

Mr. J. Rimmer, Mess Man, MERSEY VIKING (Norfolk Line) for services to merchant shipping and to the RMT Union.

HONORIS CAUSA RECIPIENTS:

The Revd. Canon R.J. Christianson, lately Secretary General, Mission to Seafarers for services to merchant seafarers and to the International Christian Maritime Asssociation.

Mrs. D. Simco for services to the welfare of serving and retired seafarers and to the Queen Victoria Seamen's Rest.

Mrs. I.M. Bonnici, lately Administrator, Dreadnought Medical Service (Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospital Group, London) for services to the care of sick and injured merchant seafarers.

Mrs. F. Manson, Cook, Scrabster Mission, Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen for services to the welfare of fishermen in N. Scotland.

Capt. J. Evans, MBE, RD, RNR, Hon. President, Anglo-Scottish Fishermen's Association for services to commercial fishing and fishermen in Scotland.

For further information please contact:
Claire Sneddon, Chamber of Shipping on
020 7417 2888 or Claire.sneddon@british-shipping.org

Notes
. The names of the recipients of the medal are communicated to H.M. The Queen and the Secretary of State. The names are also published in the London Gazette as well as other national and local media, and recorded in the archives held by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Medallists can use the designation MNM after their names.

. The Medal is round and has upon its obverse a profile portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson with the inscription THE MERCHANT NAVY MEDAL around the top and 1805 TRAFALGAR 2005 around the bottom. The reverse face features the Merchant Navy logo and the inscription reads FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE.

. The ribbon is half red and half green, separated by a narrow vertical white stripe - the three colours echoing the navigation lights of a ship and a 1mm gold edging on each side denotes merit. The name of the recipient is inscribed along the outer edge of the medal and it is presented in a red velvet-lined box. For more information about the medal, visit: www.merchantnavymedal.org

. The Chamber of Shipping is the trade association for the UK shipping industry, working to promote and protect the interests of its members both nationally and internationally. With 141 members and associate members, the Chamber represents over 860 ships of about 23 million gross tonnes and is recognised as the voice of the UK shipping industry. For more information on British Shipping, please visit www.british-shipping.org

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