WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of National Maritime Day today, the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF) proudly sponsored yesterday's 2013 National Maritime Day Dinner and Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) Awards, organized by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association.
The AMVER System, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. The AMVER Awards Program was inaugurated in 1971 to recognize those vessels which regularly participate in the AMVER System and assist others in distress on the sea.
"CICF joins the entire maritime community in recognizing National Maritime Day and the U.S. Merchant Marine for the valuable service they perform to our country," said Michael McGarry, executive director, CICF. "The annual National Maritime Day Dinner and AMVER Awards is a very fitting way to demonstrate appreciation for the ongoing contributions of the U.S. Merchant Marine to our nation and the maritime community, and CICF is pleased to be a sponsor of this year's event."
The Guest of Honor was Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. A number of awards were presented to the cruise lines and 163 total maritime companies that participate in the AMVER program.
The duty to render assistance at sea to those in need is a universal obligation undertaken by the entire maritime community. The cruise industry is no exception, and frequently renders assistance at sea at its own cost, on its own initiative, or at the direct request of the United States Coast Guard and other authorities, including through the AMVER program.
National Maritime Day has been celebrated since Congress first designated May 22 for this purpose, in 1933. It honors America's Merchant Marine for their work and sacrifice to protect the navigable waters into and out of the U.S., engaging in commerce, transportation of goods, services, or military men and women.
The nonprofit Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF), founded in 1998, focuses its efforts on programs designed to strengthen and improve the quality of life in communities served by cruise lines in North America. CICF supports civic and community development, educational assistance and training programs, and environmental preservation initiatives. More information is available at www.cruisefoundation.org.
CICF supporters include: AmaWaterways, American Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gaugin Cruises, Pearl Seas Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Tauck River Cruising, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Windstar Cruises.
SOURCE Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation