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By Theresa Goodwin

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People in Antigua and Barbuda have just four days left to cast their vote for the head of the country’s search and rescue organisation who has been nominated for a top international award.

ABSAR director Jonathan Cornelius is one of 10 nominees for the Maritime MT Crew Awards lifetime achievement category.

The annual awards were developed to reward crew that have proven themselves to be the very best at their job and encompass both personal achievements and an industry-wide recognition of professional excellence.

They are organised by ACREW, a professional body for superyacht crew. The lifetime achievement award, in particular, recognises the individual’s over-arching achievements and contributions that fundamentally advanced the superyacht industry.

After being instrumental in the creation of the Antigua and Barbuda Emergency Medical Services department in Antigua many years ago, Cornelius began thinking of ways to increase the safety levels of the country’s growing number of sailing regattas.

In 1996, he contacted the race committee for Antigua Race Week and offered his services as a paramedic. The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta then contacted him about providing the same service for its event.

ABSAR, a voluntary organisation dedicated to saving lives in Antigua and Barbuda and the surrounding waters, has been a fixture on both race courses ever since.

The formal Search and Rescue organisation that was formally started by Julie Harvey Esty in 1998 coordinates both marine and aerial searches for persons and boats lost at sea. The ABSAR Medic Station is located at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort

The voting process for the awards closes on July 6. People wishing to vote can do so by visiting acrew.com. A final announcement will be made on July 10.

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