Liberia has presented a check of 2.9 million British Pounds to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as its periodic assessed contribution, according to a press release.The amount, equivalent to US$3.6m or L$348 million, was presented to IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim by Liberia’ Permanent Representative to the IMO, Isaac W. Jackson, Jr. on Friday morning.The annual assessment is based on Liberia’s confirmed position as the second largest ship registry in the world. The Liberian-flag fleet currently stands at 4,167 vessels, exceeding the historic milestone of 150 million gross tons.Ambassador Jackson said the contribution “symbolizes Liberia’s commitment to the objectives of the IMO and its expectations of mutuality as we continue to strengthen and expand Liberia’s 58-year relationship with the International Maritime Organization.”Jackson told the Secretary-General that “making such huge payments amid a difficult financial situation back home testifies to Liberia’s continued commitment and desire to support the work of the IMO.”In furtherance of Liberia’s support Jackson informed the Secretary General that a Special Committee has been set up to navigate “the high seas of diplomacy among the IMO’s 171 Member States” in seeking Liberia’s re-election to the International Maritime Council.He noted that given Liberia’s high number of registered vessels and enormous financial contributions, her election to the IMO Council in Category A should be automatic without reservations, but added that Liberia is at the moment confident of membership on the Council and looks forward to building a great partnership.Ambassador Jackson meanwhile expressed the condolence of the Government of Liberia to the people of the United Kingdom and other affected nationals for the terror attack two days ago.He noted that the maritime industry is greatly concerned about global peace and security as a guarantee for the growth of the sector and gave assurances of Liberia’s solidarity in ensuring that self-serving terrorists are stopped from their evil plan to keep the world in a state of fear.The Secretary General, in receiving the check, thanked Liberia for being one of the first to pay in full its Annual Assessment Contribution for 2017, and expressed the hope that others would follow suit. He then wished Liberia well in its efforts to maintain membership on the IMO Council.Ambassador Jackson was accompanied to the presentation by the Alternate Permanent Representative, Harry T. Conway; Senior Advisor, Dr. Gustav Barnard; the Technical Manager at the Liberia International Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR), Gerard Kenney; and the Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs at the Liberian Embassy in London, Albert Jaja. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
LANCASTER – Hunter is a dog with purpose and a mission: to save human life. The 4-year-old border collie can climb ladders and walk through rubble piles, sniffing for the scent of people buried alive among the debris of a building collapsed by an earthquake, terrorist bombing or other catastrophe. “Without the use of the dog we are at the mercy of what we can see and hear, but a dog can use its nose,” said Hunter’s handler, Los Angeles County Department Fire Capt. Bill Monahan. Certified as an advanced search canine by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hunter has spent a little over two years with Monahan, who works at Fire Station 134 in west Lancaster. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2As a pup, Hunter was the pet of a woman named Patricia Baldwin in Capitola, Calif., but he proved too energetic for her to handle, according to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. She donated him to the Sundowners Kennel Club of Gilroy in the Monterey Bay area to be trained as a disaster search dog. Sylmar resident Kellee Matthews, an experienced guide dog trainer, took over his training, then Hunter got more training through the club. Monahan and Hunter met on April 20, 2004, when the dog was 18 months old. Monahan’s last search-and-rescue dog, a 6-year-old black Labrador retriever named Max, had been stolen in 2001, shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. The Antelope Valley Kennel Club donated $10,000 to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to help fund Hunter’s further training. Hunter comes from a breed that originated herding livestock along the border between Scotland and England. Border collies are described as intelligent, energetic, beautiful and agile, capable of herding alone – perfect qualities for a search-and-rescue dog. Hunter’s natural propensity for herding livestock led Monahan to develop an unusual reward for his dog during training. As a reward for obeying him, Monahan tosses a toy – simulating livestock leaving the herd. Hunter is trained to distinguish between the scent of a living human and other distractions. That is because an earthquake or explosion would leave people buried along with food, livestock and pets. Once, Hunter failed a search-and-rescue test because he barked at a buried chicken. So Monahan bought a chicken for $3.50 and used it to train the dog to ignore pets or livestock. Hunter earned his FEMA certification at a search-and-rescue test in Colorado. Hunter was ordered to search three piles of debris, each covering 30,000 square feet and each with six people hiding inside. The dog found all without Monahan’s aid. Now their mission statement, Monahan said, is “leave no one behind.” “Training a search dog is not one of my normal duties. It is something I do on my own. It is something extra. It’s a lot of hard work, but the rewards – if we could find one person buried under the debris, it would be worth it,” Monahan said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!