Mumbai, Apr 6: The Indian Merchant Navy's Flag Day and the 43rd National Maritime Day was celebrated here today to commemorate the maiden voyage of the Indian Ship 'SS Loyalty' that sailed from Mumbai to London in the year 1919.
The National Maritime Day awards were presented on the occasion to Varun Shipping Company which won the ''Varuna Award'' for having the largest fleet and for its outstanding performance in the year 2005. Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) was throned the ''Most Compassionate Employer'', while ''The Ship of the Year'' award was bagged by SCI's ''M V Tamilnadu''. Anglo Eastern Shipping Management Company Limited won the ''Best Foreign Employer of Indian Seafarer'' award.
Captain Vasu Venkatramaiya, Pravin Patil and Pradeep Parikh were presented with gallantry awards.
Prizes were also given away to students who had won the essay, quiz, painting and photography competitions.
Director General of Shipping G S Sahni, while speaking on the occasion, stressed on the need to strengthen the training base in the shipping industry with infusion of modern technology.
He expressed confidence that the government grant of Rs 200 crore to set up an Indian Maritime University, would help the country to produce the best skilled seafarers.