Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship Awarded to George Juri and Grit Chiu

Juri and Chiu were cited for their short-handed rescue in extremely difficult weather conditions of a man found floating offshore in the waters of Southeast Asia. The award will be presented at the Club’s annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club in New York on March 4, 2016.

George and Grit
CCA’s Rod Stephens Trophy Awardees George Juri and Grit Chiu

On July 9, 2015, seven days out of Langkawi, Malaysia, Juri and Chiu spotted a man in the water.  At the time, the seas were at least ten feet high, driven by a constant wind of 30 knots with gusts up to 50.  Juri and Chiu employed the man overboard recovery technique recommended by safety-at-sea seminars they had practiced before beginning their cruise.  Chiu continuously pointed at the person in the water so as to not lose sight of him while directing Juri to the best position to facilitate the short-handed rescue.  On the second pass, Juri was able to maneuver the 50’ sloopEscape so that, albeit difficult in the high seas, they were able to pull the man over the swim platform into the boat.

Once onboard, they learned that Thar Hlaing had been in the water four days following the sinking near Phuket of the cement barge that he worked on.  Chiu, a surgical nurse, assessed his physical condition and treated him with antibiotics and hydrogen peroxide.  There is no doubt that without the seamanlike rescue made by Juri and Chui in difficult weather conditions and the aftercare by Chui that Hlaing would not have survived.  It was a classic short-handed rescue in difficult conditions, done “by the book.”

Year Awarded

2015