Seafarer’s Skills Save Cape Kennedy Voyage


May 2014


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When a high-pressure fuel line burst aboard the Cape Kennedy, stalling the ship’s voyage from Philadelphia to New Orleans, SIU member Rodolfo “Rudy” de la Cruz came to the rescue.


Sailing as a GVA, de la Cruz in late March used his welding skills to make repairs that enabled the vessel to resume sailing. He performed a second repair the next day, and the ship safely arrived in New Orleans early last month.


For his efforts, the Seafarer received a letter of commendation from everyone else aboard that reads, “Your efforts and skills during our voyage from Philadelphia are greatly appreciated! Your welding got us safely back to NOLA!”


An SIU member since 1995, de la Cruz sounded matter-of-fact when recalling the experience.


“We were stuck in the middle of nowhere, past Florida, and I tried my best,” he said. “They needed my help.”


He added that he worked for many years in the engine rooms of Tyco cable ships, and those experiences helped during the recent Cape Kennedy saga. He has also taken several classes at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education, located in Piney Point, Md.


AB Jimmy Hargrove, who was on the Keystone-operated Cape Kennedy with de la Cruz, said his fellow Seafarer “deserves the recognition. He got us up and running again and got us to New Orleans safe and sound. It was something to see, for sure.”



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