Radhika Menon, a captain in the merchant navy, is going to be the first woman captain in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea from the International Maritime Organisation. She will receive the award for saving the lives of seven fishermen who were caught in a storm in the Bay of Bengal in 2015.

The incident took place in June last year when fishing boat 'Durgamma' had drifted from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh all the way to Gopalpur in Odisha. 

It was immediately spotted by Menon's team and the crew on board were rescued despite the difficult conditions, reports The Times of India.

The family members of the fishermen had lost all hope and were preparing to conduct the last rituals, the report said.

The health of the fishermen had deteriorated since their food and drinking water had washed away during the storm and they had been surviving on ice from the boat's cold storage, says this Rediff report.

Despite heavy rain, waves that were over 25 feet high and high speed winds, the boat was spotted by the second officer on the oil tanker Sampurna Swarajya, which was 2.5 kilometres away off the coast of Gopalpur in Odisha

Captain Menon immediately ordered the rescue operation utilising all resources on board including the pilot ladder, life jackets and buoys on standby.

Menon, who hails from Kodungallur in Kerala, is also the first woman to become the captain in the Indian merchant navy.