Safety, service, innovation: Nominees sought for 2019 Plimsoll Awards


Do you know an individual, organization or company that has made an important contribution to safety in the maritime industry, or someone whose actions saved a life or prevented an accident? How about a company or mariner responsible for advancing safety and efficiency with an innovation in equipment or operations? If so, Professional Mariner invites you to nominate them for a Samuel Plimsoll Award.

Each year, Professional Mariner presents Plimsoll Awards to honor outstanding achievement in the pursuit of greater safety for mariners.

The magazine will present two Samuel Plimsoll Awards for outstanding service — one to an individual and one to an organization — to honor contributions in making the industry safer for mariners. A Plimsoll Award also will be presented for innovation. This award recognizes an innovative product or service that contributes to improved safety or efficiency in the industry.

In 2018, Professional Mariner honored the U.S. Coast Guard’s Texas air crews with the Plimsoll Award for Outstanding Service by an Organization, citing their courage and dedication in support of the maritime industry during Hurricane Harvey. Venturing into the fury of the storm in August 2017, helicopter crews rescued dozens of people, including at least 27 from vessels that grounded or sank near Port Aransas. Operations included hoisting 12 crewmembers to safety from the dive support vessel Gulf Justice, which grounded near Port Mansfield and began taking on water, and rescuing four mariners from the tugboat Signet Enterprise, which partially sank after being hit by the drillship DPDS1, which had broken free from its moorings.

A U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer dropped by helicopter guided the crew of the tugboat Signet Enterprise to safety in Port Aransas, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey. The Coast Guard’s Texas air crews received the 2018 Plimsoll Award for Outstanding Service by an Organization for their actions during the storm.

Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The 2018 Plimsoll for Outstanding Service by an Individual went to a trio of NY Waterway mariners — Capt. David Dort and deck hands Gregorio Pages and Pietro Romano — for their actions during a rescue in November 2017 on the Hudson River. As their vessel, the ferry Thomas H. Kean, approached the Battery Park City terminal in Manhattan, the crew saw a man jump from a seawall into the water. Dort maneuvered the ferry toward him as Pages and Romano deployed a Jason’s cradle from the boat’s bow. A life ring also was tossed to the man, who took it and then grasped the mesh ladder, which was then hoisted onto the ferry.

Last year’s Plimsoll Award for Innovation recognized new technology from Europe that has advanced efficiency and sustainability in shipping: Cavotec’s wireless induction charging and automated mooring system, developed in partnership with Wartsila. The vacuum-based MoorMaster system allows a ship to dock precisely so that the wireless induction chargers can boost the vessel’s batteries in port. The need for mooring lines and mooring teams is eliminated, and vessels can be moored in less than 30 seconds, according to Switzerland-based Cavotec. Emissions also are reduced due to the use of fewer tugs and the operation of fewer engines.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Plimsoll Awards. For instructions and award criteria, visit The deadline for nominations is May 1. The winners will be announced in the December issue.

By Professional Mariner Staff