SIU crew members sailing aboard the S.S. Wright, a Crowley-operated, U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ship, were recently honored with Merchant Marine Medals for Outstanding Achievement for their actions in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
The medals were presented by Jeff McMahon, MARAD ship operations and maintenance officer (SOMO) for Atlantic Operations, while the vessel, an aviation logistics support container ship, was in port in Morehead City, North Carolina.
Along with the Maritime Administrator’s Professional Ship Award, these accolades recognize the crew’s participation in humanitarian operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), where the mariners provided onboard lodging for nearly 4,000 different emergency responders and almost 10,000 meals.
In addition to offering berthing assets, the Wright carried an FAA mobile air traffic control tower, which was critical to enabling air transportation to and from the islands, as well as meals ready to eat (MREs), bottled water and tactical/ response vehicles.
“The rapid activation and deployment of the S.S. Wright to St. Thomas and success of the mission was unprecedented, thanks to the cooperation and joint effort of afloat and shore-side personnel,” said Mike Golonka, Crowley vice president, Government Ship Management. “The entire effort was a true testament of how Crowley – and the maritime industry as a whole – can offer relief during times of great need.”