Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson, senior national secretary Allan Graveson and RMT national secretary Steve Todd received the Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service during a ceremony at Trinity House in London.
The two union officials were presented with their awards by the Princess Royal, in recognition of their services to seafarer training, welfare and safety. She praised the contribution made by this year's medal recipients and said she hoped the awards would highlight the huge contribution that seafarers make to the nation's wellbeing.
Shipping minister John Hayes said the awards recognised the 'remarkable' contributions that this year's 16 Merchant Navy Medal winners had displayed – 'not just for their endeavours and skill, but for their public service and commitment to the welfare of others'.
Nautilus member Andrew Armstrong – a former Royal Fleet Auxiliary officer now working as a maritime lecturer with the City of Glasgow College – was presented with the award for services to seafarer training.
Nautilus member Captain Jamie Wilson received the award for services to the rescue of refugees in peril, helping to save more than 900 migrants in the Mediterranean earlier this year.
Captain Reg Kelso – who has been a member for more than 70 years – was presented with the medal for services to the shipping industry and the Sea Cadets.
Other recipients included:
- Anthony Cash, for services to seafarer welfare and the Merchant Navy Association;
- Marine Accident Investigation Branch chief inspector Captain Stephen Clinch, for services to the safety of ships and seafarers;
- Captain Geoffrey Cowap, for services to the careers of young seafarers;
- Patrick Dolby, for services to international ship safety standards and seafarer welfare;
- Captain Mark Holden, for services to the offshore maritime industry;
- Captain John Hughes, for services to environmental protection at sea;
- Francis Kelly, for services to apprenticeships for ratings;
- Lt Cdr Mark Kemmis Betty, for services to the Merchant Navy and seafarer welfare;
- Captain Andrew O'Brian, for services to maritime careers and charity;
- Francis O'Neill, for services to marine engineering; and Ship Safe Training Group.