2008 Plimsolls are awarded to Rigdon, ASA and FLIR

From left to right, John A. Witte Jr., president of the American Salvage Association; Lou Rota, FLIR vice president; John Gormley, editor of Professional Mariner.

The editors of Professional Mariner have awarded the 2008 Samuel Plimsoll Award for outstanding service by an individual to Larry T. Rigdon, chairman and chief executive of Rigdon Marine Corp.

The Plimsoll Award for outstanding service by an organization was awarded to the American Salvage Association.

FLIR Systems Inc. received the Plimsoll Award for innovation in recognition of its thermal imaging technology.

The awards were presented on March 18 at the Connecticut Maritime Association’s Shipping 2008 conference in Stamford, Conn.

Rigdon has been a pioneer in the creation of a new generation of highly capable offshore support vessels designed around diesel-electric propulsion and dynamic positioning systems. The first of these vessels, a class of 210-foot-long platform support vessels designed by Guido Perla & Associates, went into service in 2004. In addition to being efficient and reliable, the vessels have proven to be very safe. As a result, the vessels have established a new standard of performance for offshore support vessels around the world.

Rigdon was presented his award by John Gormley, editor of Professional Mariner.
The ASA was honored for its leadership role in professionalizing the industry’s marine salvage and firefighting response. Through its training programs, ASA has been instrumental in improving the coordination between government and the industry to ensure the most effective and timely response when emergencies occur. For example, an association committee created the ASA Mariner Salvage Response Training Program that has provided instruction to units of the U.S. Coast Guard National Strike Force.

Larry T. Rigdon, CEO of Rigdon Marine.

Members of the ASA are among the first responders to the most serious casualties in U.S. and Canadian waters. The training provided by the ASA to key Coast Guard responders has meant that when an emergency occurs, all involved have a better understanding of what needs to be done and how to coordinate their efforts. The result should be less damage to property and the environment and fewer lives lost.

John A. Witte Jr., president of the ASA, accepted the award on behalf of his association.
FLIR Systems has been a leader in the development of thermal imaging technology. For reasons of cost, thermal imaging systems have been largely limited to military applications. But in recent years, FLIR has succeeded in bringing the cost of the systems within reach of commercial vessel operators.

Thermal imaging systems are based on temperature differentials. As a result, thermal imaging is effective at detecting humans against a background of colder water, even in extreme sea conditions and at night. Thermal imaging systems give searchers a tool of unprecedented power for rapidly locating and rescuing people who have fallen overboard or been forced to abandon ship.

Lou Rota, vice president of marine sales, accepted the award on behalf of FLIR.

For more information about the Samuel Plimsoll Awards, go to www.professionalmariner.com.
By Professional Mariner Staff