Every morning the headquarters staff at Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) convene for a morning brief to set the command priorities for the day’s work of denying the use of the seas for piracy, terror and other illicit activities.

It was therefore fitting and appropriate that the naval representatives from 26 nations around the globe who form CMF also paused for a moment of reflection on the morning of the World Maritime Day for those who have perished at sea.

Since the Titanic disaster on hundred years ago exponential leaps have been made in maritime safety, yet it should not be forgotten that the sea can be a cruel mistress and accidents still sadly occur.

Although CMF’s prime responsibility is the execution of maritime security operations in a sea area spanning 2.5 million square miles, it is also called upon to assist fellow mariners in distress.  Over the last 12 months CMF ships that have been patrolling the oceans have been called upon five times to assist vessels and crews from a number of countries who have suffered misfortune.

Commodore Simon Ancona, Deputy Commander of Combined Maritime Forces said “people often talk of the brotherhood of the sea.  It is undoubtedly true whilst we continue upon our daily security duties, like all mariners, we remain ever ready to help fellow sailors in distress”.