Virginia tug crews honored for response to drifting vessels

The following is text of a news release from the Virginia Maritime Association (VMA):

(HAMPTON ROADS, Va.) — The Virginia Maritime Association on Tuesday honored crewmembers from the tugboats Captain Ron L and Captain Hank with a resolution of appreciation for their actions to secure drifting vessels in severe weather last winter.

The crewmembers on the Vulcan Materials tugs were celebrated because of their swift actions on March 2 on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River. The actions of these mariners prevented serious damage to property and potential environmental losses, as well as disruption of rail service for goods traded through the Port of Hampton Roads. Capt. Mason Keeter (Van Line Bunkering), chairman of the Virginia Maritime Association’s Towing & Barge Operators Committee, presented each crewmember with a plaque of the resolution.  

On March 2 as the Port of Hampton Roads experienced severe wind from storms moving northeast along the mid-Atlantic coast, several large barges and other decommissioned vessels were adrift on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk between Campostella Bridge and Norfolk & Southern No. 5 Railroad Bridge. The crews of Captain Ron L and Captain Hank sprang into action and safely moored the vessels, preventing them for alliding with the railroad bridge or the tank barges moored at C&M Industries.

The captain of the Port of Hampton Roads, Capt. R.J. Wester, stated in a letter to Vulcan Materials, “The actions your (Vulcan Materials) personnel took denotes the professionalism of your company and serves as another example of the synergy necessary between all port partners to ensure the safety, security, and economic vitality of the Port of Hampton Roads.” William Gillbert of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads presented Capt. Ron Edmonson and Capt. Wesley Butler with the letter from Wester.

The Virginia Maritime Association applauds Edmonson and Butler and their crews Daniel Frame, Donald Churchill, Douglas Boarman and Chris Ragani, for their fast thinking, selflessness and professionalism.

By Professional Mariner Staff