A 27 year old local seaman has done the country proud by being the winner of an International Maritime award in London, for his bravery at sea.
James Fanifau defied the odds and put his life at risk by rescuing a man in very rough weather conditions.
The incident happened last year, when the former Suva Grammar Student was a fourth engineer aboard the vessel MV Scarlett Lucy when a yacht, Sumatra II, sank in severe weather conditions in the Tasman sea, off the Australian coast.
Australia nominated the Rotuman lad for his selfless act of bravery when he climbed over the side of the MV Scarlet Lucy and saved the life of a 71 year old American, Dr Jerome Morgan, by hauling him to the ship’s cargo net.
His act of bravery was made even more remarkable by the fact that he did not have time to secure a safety harness.
Fanifau said it is an experience he will never forget and receiving the award is a big personal achievement.
He added that from the incident he has learnt the spirit of teamwork among the local seamen cannot be compared with any other.
Fanifau will be hosted at a special reception by the Australian High Commissioner in London before receiving his award next week.