MASTER MARINERS RECOGNITION FOR SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP SALVAGE MASTER CAPT. NICK SLOANE
Faced with a reluctance by the South African state to grant any sort of official recognition of the achievements of South African salvage master Captain Nick Sloane in leading the team that raised the capsized cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA, the Society of Master Mariners South Africa decided to initiate a unique gold medal as its highest honour to a fellow mariner.
The gold medal was awarded to Capt Sloane in the presence of a large group of international salvage delegates attending the International Salvage Union’s AGM that was being held in the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on the evening of 23 October 2018.Citation
In making the presentation the Society’s President, Capt Rob Whitehead, told those assembled that, as a result of the state’s reluctance to recognise the significant achievement and international recognition generated by Captain Sloane’s leadership in the successful salvage of the Costa Concordia, the Society had created this gold medal award as its highest honour to a fellow mariner.
The laid down criteria for making the award is as follows: “Certificated Master Mariner or Deck Officer who, by an exceptional action, has brought the highest honour to our profession by him or her exercising the pinnacle of marine skills acquired as a result of their qualifications and experience”.
Full marks to the Society for taking the lead in granting this overdue recognition of a true South African hero and an example to old and young alike. That a South African was chosen to lead the international team that successfully raised and refloated the cruise ship is a factor that should never have been overlooked and does no credit to those in the South Africa government and state organisation that deliberately or otherwise neglected this.