The medals were presented by the Russian Defense Attaché in Norway Colonel Vladimir Yermachkov during a ceremony at the Banak rescue central last Friday, newspaperFinnmarken reports.
The Russian dry cargo vessel Viktor Koryakin with crew of 12 and cargo of timber, was pushed ashore by gale force winds while anchored by the coast of the Rybachiy Peninsula, Barents Sea on December 18, 2007 The vessel had been anchored waiting for the weather to improve.
Only three hours after the rescue central in Banak, Finnmark, received a call that a Russian cargo vessel was in trouble outside the Rybachiy Peninsula, the crew on the Sea King helicopter had rescued all the twelve sailors from the vessel. During the dramatic operation the vessel broke in two.
According to Yermachkov it is seldom that foreigners are awarded with this medal. – This is a sign of the great gratitude we feel for the lives they saved and is an evidence of their heroism, he said.
Yermachkov also called the presentation an expression of the good relationship between Norway and Russia. – I am very glad that this event coincides with the opening of Norway’s honorary consulate in Arkhangelsk and the signing of the agreement on delineation of the Barents Sea. - This shows which direction the cooperation between our two countries is taking.