Press Releases


For another year the Propeller Club of Piraeus, organized the AMVER Award Ceremony with the cooperation of the Embassy of the United Stated of America, the U.S. Coast Guard and the support of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.

Representatives of 229 shipping companies who are located to our country and their 1.800 ships which bare the Hellenic flag and participating voluntarily to the AMVER Network, where awarded! The ceremony took place on Monday 22 of October at Athenaeum Intercontinental, in a crowded room.

Many eminent guests where present to the ceremony with their head being His Excellency, the U.S. Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt and his wife Mary, the Rear Admiral of the U.S. Coast Guard, Mrs. Meredith Austin and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, Mr. Nektarios Santorinios. The President of the Nea Dimokratia Party, was represented by the President of the Shipping Committee of the party, Mrs. Ioannis Plakiotakis, while the rest parliament was represented by the former Ministers of Shipping, Mr. Panagiotis Kouroumplis and Mr. Theodors Dritsas, the former Minister Mr. Miltiades Varvitsiotis. The Hellenic Coast Guard was represented by the Chief of the HCG, Vice Admiral Stamati Rapti ka the Deputy Chiefs A & B Vice Admirals Theodore Kliari and Athanasios Ntounis, while the high ranked officers of the Hellenic Navy, Vice Admirals Fleet Chief Ioannis Pavlopoulos, the Commander Nikolaos Kafetsis, the Major General of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDS), Christos Poulianitis. A special honor was the presence of the International Propeller Club, Vice Admiral of the USCG, Mr. Joel Whitehead and his wife Martha, who is of Hellenic origin. Almost all of the Hellenic Shipping Cluster was represented since among others where the President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Mr. George Pateras, the President of HELMEPA, Mr. George Gratsos, the President of the Piraeus Marine Club and Executive Director of the Municipality of Piraeus, Mrs. Irene Ntaifa, the President of INTERCARGO, Mr. Ioannis Platsidakis, the Secretary General of the Hellenic Seamen’s Federation, Mr. Ioannis Chalas, the President of the Union of Masters and Mates of the Greek Merchant Marine, Cpt. Emmanuel Tsikalakis, the President of the Posidonia Exhibitions, Mr. Theodore Vokos, the President of the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association, Mrs. Antonis Stelliatos, the President of the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association, Mr. Charalambos Simantonis, the President of the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association, Mr. John Kotzias, the President of the Yacht Club of Greece, Mr. Alexander Papadoggonas, the President of the Greece – China Association, Mr. Andreas Poatamianos and prominent members of the Union of Greek Shipowners, an abundance of members of representatives of shipping companies as well of representatives of the most embassies of Athens.

The President of the International Propeller Club of Piraeus, Mr. George Xiradakis, welcomed the guest and the numerous audience and spoke about the naval heritage and tradition that is bound to the DNA of every Hellene. That has been profoundly proved by conquering and holding the first position in the global shipowning classification. He continued hiw speech by mentioning that “Our country is at the 7th position in the catalog of the great sea nations of the world, according a research may by DNV-GL and Menon Economics. A position that we ought to improve. The research is based in four parameters like the shipping, the shipping technology, the shipping fundraising and the legislations and last but not least the ports and the logistics services. This are parameters that must be exploited in a good manner by our DNA – Dedication, Navigation and Acceleration.” He then encourage all the Hellenic shipping companies to enroll their ships to the AMVER program, so they too can be part of the search and rescue chain, proving that the shipping business is a concept with an expandable range, outside its main economic activity. Closing his speech, he thanked the members of the U.S.A. embassy and mostly His Excellency, the Ambassador, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt, for his continues support and cooperation in maintaining and strengthening the U.S.A – Hellas relations.

His Excellency, the U.S. Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt, mentioned at his speech, “The AMVER system has saved thousands of lives at sea and while started as an USCG initiative, its implementation here in Greece made it a worldwide success and I want to thank Propeller Club for this success. However the Hellenic participation in the AMVER system in only one side of the long-term and deep relationship between Greece and U.S.A.. During the past years, the U.S. embassy has done a systematic effort to increase its ties with Greece in the Maritime sector.”. Mr. Pyatt concluded his speech by expressing his satisfaction over the development and increase of the relations of the two countries in the shipping industry and of course at the investment and educational part of the Maritime Sector.

The Secretary of State of the Shipping and Island Policies Ministry, Mr. Nektarios Santorinios mentioned how important is the Hellenic contribution in the search and rescue operations, demonstrating a high sense of responsibility and excellent skills while dealing very difficult situations, confirming this way that shipping and caring for others is in our DNA. The aim of the ministry is to enhance the maritime education and thus make the shipping industry more appealing to the young Hellenes, in order for the Hellenic Shipping to remain on top.

The Rear Admiral of the USCG, Mrs. Meredith Austin, made an historical recursion of the AMVER program and mentioned four remarkable cases of rescuing human lives by Hellenic ships, making thus clear to the audience the true and meaningful usability of the program.

The President of the International Propeller Club, USCG Vice Admiral Joel Whitehead, expressed his gratitude and satisfaction for the presence of all the members of the Hellenic Shipping industry and praised the contribution and the work of the Governors of the Propeller Club of Piraeus and of course the connection of the Hellenes with the sea and the ship. As a token of gratitude he presented special awards to three of the oldest members of the AMVER system, for their contribution and dedication to its ideal. Mr. Whitehead awarded Mr. George Zarvano, Stefano Kostopoulo and Cpt. Ioanni Piperaki.

Apart from the companies that were awarded, Cpt. Panagiotis Tsakos was honored for his continues efforts to maintain and promote the Hellenic maritime heritage and for the founding of a private, non profitable professional Lyceum for Maritime Studies, the Tsakos Enhanced Education Nautical School (TEENS). The school is the first of its kind in Greece and is located in the island of Chios. The President of the Propeller Club, Mr. Xiradakis, along with His Excellency the U.S. Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Pyatt and the Chairman of the Maritime Committee of the Club, Mr. Chahalis, presented the Highest Award of Distinction to the honored guest together with a ship’s steering wheel. Cpt. Panagiotis Tsakos, expressed his fear that the Hellenic knowhow in shipping is endangered as there are less than 15 thousand Hellenes seamen and most of them are occupied in the coastal navigation. Closing his speech, urged the shipping industry to contribute to the maintenance of the ancient maritime tradition of Hellas.

Finally, Mr. Benjamin Strong, director of the Public Relationship of the USCG AMVER System, at his speech mention the importance of the AMVER program, making clear that the 11% of the total AMVER fleet.

The last award, were given to the winners of the First Charity Photography Competition, which was organized by the club. The competition was held between the crews of the ships that are enrolled to the AMVER system. The price was an economical contribution from the Propeller Club, to charity foundations/organizations that the shipping company of the “cadet photographer” choose. Ten photographs were chosen and awarded and the prices (amount of money) will be given according to the choice of the shipping companies to the following foundations: The Smile of the Child, ELEPAP, Together for Children, Cerebral Palsy Greece – Open Door, Ark of the World, Chatzikiriakeio, Theotokos and the Greek Committee of Education of Kenyan Youth “Kostas Dombros”.

The marvelous night, that more than 1100 guests enjoyed from the shipping, business and political sectors, had the accompany of the music that the Band of the Hellenic Coast Guard and the famous composer Stefanos Korkolis, along with the enchanting performance of Sofia Manousaki.