News just came in that for this year, a Filipino will receive the ” IMO Bravery Award.”
Probationary Ensign Ralph Barajan’s name was in the forefront of the event last November 7 when on their way to Cebu, the passenger ship Siargao encountered big waves approximately two meters high that flooded it. Ralph was off duty and one of the passengers of the ship. When he heard the commotion he immediately informed the nearby Coast Guard Substations to request for assistance.
Afterward, he helped bring order to the ship by assisting them in putting up life jackets and gave a calming presence to everyone. Seeing that the situation is going south, he asked the Captain to declare an abandon ship.
Afterward, he helped assist the passengers to jump safely before himself going the same way last, making sure no one is left behind.While waiting for rescue, he arranged by tying up the passengers into huddled groups which made it easier for the incoming rescue ships to pick them up from the waters.
According to PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr.:“P/Ens Barajan’s display of courage, determination, and presence of mind which led to the successful rescue of 62 victims, including himself, is indeed worthy of emulation and respect for him, his family and for the PCG – a perfect demonstration of the Coast Guard service.”
According to IMO’s website, the “IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea” was established by the Organization to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.
This news should be celebrated by each and everyone in the country and not only within the maritime community. Our warmest congratulations to Probationary Ensign Ralph Barajan.