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Seafarers recently were honored by the U.S. Maritime Administration for their roles supporting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in New York and New Jersey. SIU members and other mariners on Dec. 15 received the U.S. Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement during a shipboard ceremony in Staten Island, N.Y.
SIU members worked aboard the SS Wright and the training vessels Kennedy and Empire State during the relief mission.
Maritime Administrator David Matsuda wrote in a blog post, “As their relief mission ends, I’d like to recognize the 120 men and women who served for more than 40 days as crew on these ships…. For six weeks, relief workers from all over the country, including many who had never been on a ship, stayed aboard. Galley crews made sure meals were ready starting at 5:30 a.m., so the relief workers could get an early start. And as these workers returned after long days ashore, crews worked to try to provide them at least some comforts, including internet access and even a few holiday decorations.
“In all, the three MARAD ships provided more than 37,000 bed-nights and 72,000 meals for disaster relief workers from FEMA, the Red Cross, and other relief organizations. Because of this floating dormitory service, relief workers did not take up local hotel space needed for housing displaced families.”
He added, “I’m proud of their work. The professionalism, care, compassion, and outstanding support exhibited by these mariners to thousands of emergency responders bring great honor and distinction to the U.S. Merchant Marine. Mariners are no strangers to being away from home and their families during holidays, and they told me in no uncertain terms that they would stay on the job for as long as they are needed.”
To access the entire blog post, click HERE