Nautilus members are invited to send in their nominations for one of the United Kingdom's highest honours for shipping, the 2021 Merchant Navy Medal.
Nominations for the prestigious award are being sought by The Department for Transport (DfT), supported by the Merchant Navy Honours Consultative Committee. The Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) administers the Committee.
In seeking the 2021 nominations, the MNWB chief executive Peter Tomlin said: 'These have been extremely challenging times and we know many people have gone above and beyond what is usually expected of them which is why we highly encourage you to make sure you nominate who you think should be awarded the medal.'
Eligibility for the medal is limited to those who have served, or are serving at sea, in any capacity in the Merchant Navy or Fishing Fleets of the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the British Overseas Territories.
Recipients of the Merchant Navy Medal will normally be required to have completed 20 years' good conduct and exemplary service, although in exceptional circumstances the period of service may be less. The number of awards granted annually remains at a maximum of 20. Those without service at sea but who have made an important contribution to the merchant service or fishing fleets can have their names submitted for other national Honours.
Letters of support should be provided from people with first-hand knowledge of the nominee who can endorse their contribution or supply additional information. They should explain why they consider the nominee's actual contribution or impact has been meritorious. At least two letters of support are normally required to support a nomination. Anyone may make a nomination by completing the form and forwarding it to the Department for Transport. It is not possible to nominate yourself.
There are no formal deadlines for the receipt of nomination forms, but as awards will normally be made only once a year, towards the end of the year, nominations need to be received by the end of May 2021 in order to be considered in the current year.
In recent years, the Merchant Navy medals have been presented by The Princess Royal to men and women who have contributed to maritime safety, improved efficiency, training, welfare, and the saving of life at sea. Last year eight Nautilus members were recognised with the award.