Winners of the 2018 Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service announced

merchant navy medal winners 2018

The Department for Transport and Maritime & Coastguard Agency have announced 19 winners of the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service, which is awarded each year to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to the maritime industry.

Among them is Wightlink deck officer Stephen Chamberlain (left), who risked his own life in February to help a man struggling in the cold water in Portsmouth Harbour. Crew on the St Clare ferry spotted the man in danger at around 11pm and Mr Chamberlain saw the man was not able to reach the flotation device. The officer jumped in and saved the man, who was suffering from hypothermia, from drowning.

The medal is also being awarded to Captain Belinda Bennett (right) of Windstar Cruises, who is the first black female captain in the commercial cruise industry.

"Our Merchant Navy is crucial to keeping the UK thriving – helping deliver goods, energy and food to our homes. These 19 people are a credit not just to the maritime industry but to the wider nation. They have gone above and beyond their duty for the benefit of others," Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said today in a statement.

"Stephen’s heroic act and Belinda’s trailblazing are just two examples of the outstanding service provided by our mariners."

Among the other winners this year are Captain Timothy Charlesworth who, on top of his service, provides sailing opportunities for people with mental health and addiction problems; Captain Michael Reeves who has five decades of merchant-navy experience, much of which has been spent promoting seafaring to young people; and Captain Antonio Gatti, who has played a crucial role in scientific research onboard a Royal Research Ship during his 33 years of service.

The medals will be awarded by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal at a ceremony in Trinity House on Wednesday 26 September 2018.

The full list of recipients is as follows:

  • Captain Belinda Bennett, for services to the promotion of the maritime sector
  • Mr Derek Cardno, for services to the welfare of fishermen
  • Lieutenant Commander David Carter, for services to the careers of young seafarers and seafarer welfare
  • Mr Stephen Chamberlain, for an act of bravery in saving a life
  • Captain Timothy Charlesworth, for services to UK ports and the maritime industry
  • Mr Mark Dickinson, for services to seafarer employment, training and welfare
  • Captain Antonio Gatti, for services to UK research expeditions
  • Mr John Halsall, for services to the careers of young seafarers
  • Captain Nigel Jardine, for services to UK ports and the maritime industry including the small port sector
  • Captain Robin Lock, for services to a maritime charity
  • Mr George Lonie, for services to the careers of young seafarers and seafarer welfare
  • Mr Michael Morley, for services to a maritime charity
  • Captain Nicholas Nash, for services to maritime training
  • Captain John Rankin, for services to the Merchant Navy
  • Captain Michael Reeves, for services to the careers of young seafarers and seafarer welfare
  • Captain Andrew Schofield, for services to the large yacht industry
  • Captain Ian Shields, for services to a maritime charity
  • Mr Keith Thompson, for services to a maritime charity
  • Captain Thomas Woolley, for services to harbour towage and safety standards.
Congratulations to all 19 winners - this award rightly marks the crucial contribution that members of the Merchant Navy make to maritime safety, seafarer welfare, training and the wider blue economy.


For more information contact:

Holly Birkett

Communications Manager (content & digital)

020 7417 2868 / 07807 790058

HBirkett@ukchamberofshipping.com