New AWO video salutes industry’s rescue heroes

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The American Waterways Operators (AWO) has produced a new video showcasing the American Waterways Honor & Excellence in Rescue Operations (HERO) Award. The award, established on March 1, 2023, documents and recognizes rescues undertaken by AWO member company employees that demonstrate selflessness, skill and bravery.

The two-minute video highlights the bravery of award recipients as well as the important role that tugboat, towboat and barge industry mariners play in keeping the nation’s waterways safe. The video also features several awardees who shared their insights on their rescue efforts and on the industry’s dedication to safety culture.

“If somebody goes in the water, we’re going to go get them,” explains one mariner. “I didn’t do anything that anybody else on any one of these boats wouldn’t have done.”

Examples of the rescues honored since the HERO Award’s founding include rescues of people who fell overboard, assistance of disabled vessels, prevention of collisions, and response to recreational boat sinkings.

“The HERO Award was created to recognize the heroism, professionalism and selflessness of the men and women of America’s tugboat, towboat and barge industry,” said AWO President and CEO Jennifer Carpenter. “Their actions prevent harm and save lives on the water every day. We are so proud to share these stories, which exemplify the industry’s commitment to safety, and to shine a richly deserved light on the people who make the waterways safer for all.”

Qualifying events for the award include rescuing commercial or recreational mariners; responding to a medical emergency on board; recovering a person who has fallen overboard; responding to a person in distress while traveling to/from the boat; and other selfless service actions that reflect the safety culture of the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

Companies wishing to nominate employees for an American Waterways HERO Award can visit the AWO website to fill out an informational form.

– American Waterways Operators

By Professional Mariner Staff