The Crowley Maritime tugboat Explorer has been awarded a letter of commendation from the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) for assisting a stricken vessel 30 miles west of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, in December.
Crowley crewmembers quickly responded to the 20ft vessel, which had run out of fuel, providing the crew of two with water, life jackets, flashlights and a hand-held radio until the Coast Guard arrived to provide further assistance.
Crowley’s Andrew Legge (pictured, left, with CSA Chairman Captain Bruce S Fernie), Manager of Operation Integrity, Ship Management, accepted the letter on behalf of the Explorer crew at the CSA safety awards banquet, recently held in New Orleans. CSA safety awards are given annually to crews who render assistance to those in danger at sea and the letter of recognition stated: ‘…your actions exemplify the devotion to duty and professionalism of the merchant mariner.’
The crew’s efforts assisting the marooned vessel were also praised by Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Baumgartner, who serves as commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami. Following the incident, Mr Baumgartner issued an official letter to the Jacksonville-based crew, which included Captain Andrew Smith; David W Keefe, chief mate; Robert A Malouin, chief engineer; Marcus Huntley, AB; Raymond A Petterson, AB; and Richard C Smith, ordinary seaman.
He expressed his sincere appreciation for the crew’s assistance, writing: ‘The humanitarian actions taken by the crew of the tug Explorer are in keeping with the highest traditions of professional mariners. Please accept my personal thanks to you and your entire crew for a job well done!’
The Explorer, based in Jacksonville, is used in Crowley’s Puerto Rico liner services operation, regularly towing company-owned triple-deck Ro/Ro barges between Jacksonville and San Juan.