Meet Captain Radhika Menon, a brave woman at sea who has been at the forefront of many missions. But one stands out. Radhika, India’s first female Merchant Navy captain received a bravery award from International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for her exceptional bravery in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat along the coast of Andhra Pradesh in the nasty waters of the Bay of Bengal.

Not only is Radhika the first female captain in the Indian Merchant Navy, but she is the only woman to have won the award. On June 16, 2015 she led the rescue mission along coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Seven fishermen owe Captain Radhika Menon their lives.

A BBC report notes the incident as follows. “As waves rose to 9m and wind speed reached 60-70 knots, she commanded a rescue operation last June that required three attempts to get the fishermen onboard the massive tanker via a pilot ladder from their small boat.”

At a London ceremony on 21st November, Kerala born Radhika said “I am honoured and humbled with this great honour for me and my team. It is a seafarer’s duty to help souls in distress and I did my duty. Seafaring is a noble profession which contributes massively to world trade and economy as well as cultural integration. It does not always get the recognition it deserves.”

The Indian government nominated Radhika for what’s an annual award established by IMO to recognise people who brave their own life to save people. In her acceptance speech she said, “Seafaring is a gender-neutral profession and if you work hard, like in any other field, you will win appreciation.