2003 Plimsoll Winners Announced

Professional Mariner has selected the Columbia River Bar Pilots and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Domenic Calicchio as winners of the 2003 Samuel Plimsoll Awards for outstanding service in promoting safety in the maritime industry.

Columbia River Bar Pilot Bill Worth boarding the tanker Casablanca.

The pilots’ group was chosen in the outstanding-organization category because of its pioneering work in the use of helicopters. The Columbia River Bar Pilots are the only pilots’ group in North America to regularly use helicopters to get their members aboard ships. Their use of the helicopters helped them reach and then guide to safety several ships in distress that might otherwise have run aground.

Calicchio, the winner in the individual category, is a retired Coast Guard captain who earlier in his career served as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Calicchio will receive the award posthumously for his role in bringing about a number of industry safety reforms following the 1983 sinking of the American-flag collier Marine Electric. Calicchio’s work was described in the book, Until the Sea Shall Free Them, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Frump.

The awards are to be presented at the National Maritime Salvage Conference on Sept. 11, 2003. Sponsored by the American Salvage Association, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Va. Sept. 9 to 11.

Domenic Calicchio as a third mate on a merchant ship during World War II.

“We are very pleased that the National Maritime Salvage Conference has been chosen as the venue at which this important safety award is bestowed,” said J. Arnold Witte, president and chief executive of Donjon Marine and president of the association. “As we continually look at issues of maritime security and industry safety, the Plimsoll Award is a reminder that we must recognize and honor those who have made a difference.”

Conference keynote speakers will include Rear Adm. Thomas Gilmour, assistant commandant, U.S. Coast Guard; Rear Adm. Larry Hereth, director of port security, U.S. Coast Guard; Chet Lunner, associate undersecretary for maritime and land security, Transportation Security Administration; and Capt. James Wilkins, supervisor of salvage for the U.S. Navy.

For a complete schedule of conference topics, and to register online, visit www.americansalvage.org. Professional Mariner can be reached at 207-772-2466.

By Professional Mariner Staff