A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officer was given an international award for his “exceptional bravery at the sea” when he risked his life to save 62 passengers aboard an ill-fated vessel.
Ensign Ralph O. Barajan received the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Barajan was off-duty when he saved 62 lives aboard an ill-fated passenger vessel MV Siargao Princess in the waters of Cebu on Nov. 7, 2019.
Present during the awarding were Assistant Secretary Igor Bailen and John Francis Herrera of the DFA – Maritime and Oceans Affairs Office, as well as Chief of Coast Guard Staff, Rear Admiral Rolando Lizor Punzalan.
The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea is an annual international recognition for individuals who performed “acts of exceptional bravery, risking their own lives to ensure safety of life at sea, and to prevent or mitigate marine environmental damages.”
Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the awarding ceremony for 2020 that was supposed to be held at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom was cancelled.