In 2017 the Association of Maritime and River Rescue in Uruguay (ADES) won the Vladimir Maksimov H.E.R.O. Award for Lifetime Achievement, with special recognition for two volunteers Captain Ramón Sagüés and Engineer Otto Vicente Muzzio who established and built the organisation into the esteemed institution it is today.

Sadly Ramón Sagüés had recently passed away, and Otto Vicente preferred not to undertake such long trip because of health reasons so Eduardo Tucci of ADES received the award on their behalf. Upon his return to Uruguay a ceremony was organised to celebrate their achievement. Here Eduardo explains the importance of this award and the impact it has had on ADES.

2556913405When the board of ADES considered applying for one of the IMRF H.E.R.O Awards presenting the names of Cap. Ramón Sagüés and Eng. Otto Vicente, we all believed that the life story of the candidates related to SAR was remarkable, but had some concerns that it was not enough for the prize. Captain Sagüés was our first President, and Vicente is the last active founding member of this 62 year old rescue institution located in Uruguay, South America.

Despite our concerns we still felt that given the prestige of the IMRF just submitting their names to the H.E.R.O Awards was itself a recognition of their dedication to SAR.

Only after presenting the relevant documentation did we inform them what we had done, and both, with emotion but with simplicity, expressed their surprise and happiness for a moment and then continued with their life as always. They didn´t even discuss it with their closest family!

Sometime later we received the invitation to participate in the Award ceremony, since our candidates had been shortlisted. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors of this award, a member of our institution was able to fly to Poole, representing the nominees. Sadly Ramón Sagüés had recently passed away, and Otto Vicente preferred not to undertake such long trip because of health reasons.

We imagined the difficulty of the judges of all the categories to decide which of the nominees had enough merits to win the award. In a simple and emotional ceremony, it was with great joy that the ADES representative received the prize in the "The Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Maritime SAR Sector" category.

The People’s Choice Award was given to ADES as we had secured the most Facebook ‘likes’ by 1700hrs GMT on Thursday 2 November 2017 following a week of promotion across the IMRF’s social media channels, and communications with members.

The representative of ADES in Poole received a third surprise, when the "Future Leaders 2016" program of the RNLI was awarded too, in which he had participated.

Upon return to Uruguay we immediately began to think how to present both awards to the nominees, and to make this wonderful award known by the Uruguayan people.

Peter Broadhurst ADES Eduardo Tucci Lifetime Award Theresa CrossleyA ceremony was organized in which the families of the honorees, ADES’s volunteers, collaborators, national authorities and friends participated. In this act, a brief account of the lives of the winners was made, a very nice video was shown, and the President of ADES, Guillermo Pérez Lavagnini, told the details of this award, and explained to all the importance of it.

The culminating moment shown above was when the prizes were given to Otto Vicente and the widow of Captain Ramón Sagüés by members of ADES’s Board and Jorge Diena, who was representing the IMRF.

Undoubtedly, personal values and dedication to the foundation and maintenance of ADES by Sagüés and Vicente have permeated our institution. The recognition of the IMRF fills us with pride and encourages us to continue on our course, because:

"We are what we are, because they were what they were"

For more information about the 2017 IMRF H.E.R.O. Award winners please go to

If you would like information about becoming a sponsor for the 2018 awards please e-mail Caroline Jupe at

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