Electrician Lands Kudos From Keystone


March 2012


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Even after nearly 40 years as a mariner, the job still brings occasional surprises for Electrician Chuck Wharton.

He got an unwelcome jolt during a stint aboard the NS Savannah but handled it deftly, and for his efforts, Wharton recently was recognized in vessel operator Keystone Shipping’s newsletter.

The event happened last summer, with the ship docked in Baltimore. A freak storm displaced the gangway and caused the vessel to roll while moored to the dock.

Wharton immediately responded – he rigged and secured the emergency gangway and also helped secure areas on the vessel “which showed evidence of leakage during the intense rainfall,” according to the company. Keystone thanked Wharton and credited him “for his professional response and excellent seamanship.”

Asked by a reporter for the Seafarers LOG whether he was worried during the ordeal, Wharton, who joined the SIU in 1973, replied, “No. It was surprising, though, and interesting. It happened all at once – it got dark out and just hit.”

Once the temporary gangway was in place, Wharton helped ensure the safe departure of
a Maritime Administration project manager who’d been aboard the Savannah.

Wharton is a graduate of the trainee program at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education,



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