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Honoring the Coast Guard in District 7

Jen Fyke Web
by Jennifer Crowley Fyke
April 13, 2019

The Coast Guard Foundation’s 25th Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District will be held this Thursday, April 18 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Originally scheduled for late January, the event was postponed because of the government shutdown.

“The dinner committee worked hard to find a new date once the shutdown ended, and we’re grateful to have an opportunity to honor the accomplishments of Coast Guard members who live and serve in the Southeast later this week,” said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation president. “All of the important program elements will be in place and we thank our event partners for their flexibility and creativity to make this happen, and our generous supporters who continued their support of the dinner and our work.”

Puerto Rico Team Earns Thomas Crowley Award, the Company's Highest Honor, in Recognition of Hurricane Maria Relief Efforts (Photo Courtesy of Crowley Maritime)

At the event, the Coast Guard Foundation will honor an aircrew from Air Station Clearwater and members of the Rescue Coordination Center in Miami for their September 2018 rescue of 18 fisherman from a sinking vessel and recognize Crowley Maritime Corporation and its chairman and CEO, Thomas Crowley, Jr. The Crowley organization has been a dedicated supporter of the Foundation for over 30 years and are widely known for their commitment to the prosperity of their employees and the betterment of the maritime and local communities they serve.

Thomas B. Crowley, Jr. has served as CEO and chairman of the board of directors since 1994, succeeding his father and grandfather in those roles dating back to the company’s founding in 1892. Today, Crowley is a U.S.-based, $2 billion-a-year marine solutions, energy and logistics services company with operations around the world.

In late 2017, Mr. Crowley directed the company’s large-scale response to Puerto Rico which recently had been devastated by Hurricane Maria. Within two hours of the U.S. Coast Guard reopening the island’s main port in San Juan, a Crowley vessel arrived and began discharging critical commercial and relief cargoes. Over the next 182 days, Crowley unloaded more than 200 vessels with cargo consisting of nearly 40,000 commercial loads and 8,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) loads. In addition to food, water and other basic humanitarian and commercial supplies, Crowley transported and delivered more than 40,000 power poles; 7,000 electrical transformers; and 10 million miles of wire and cable; as well as platforms and utility reconstruction equipment and vehicles to help rebuild the electrical infrastructure, which was destroyed beyond repair in some areas. The company also handled multiple bridge sections and a 119,000-pound drill to support the roadway reconstruction efforts in the Utuado region.

Even more remarkable is that this mission was largely accomplished by more than 300 local employees who, along with their families, were reeling from the effects of the storm themselves. In an unprecedented gesture of appreciation, the company presented a Thomas Crowley award, the company’s highest honor, to the entire Puerto Rico team.

“It takes a great deal of support from individuals like Tom and companies like Crowley to assist the brave men and women of the Coast Guard so they can concentrate on the task at hand,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “We are grateful for all of their dedication, not just to the Foundation, but to the marine industry and their local communities, as well.”

The Coast Guard Foundation event in Fort Lauderdale is supported by a local volunteer committee of business and community leaders, led by Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons, Coast Guard Foundation trustee and president of Total Marine Solutions in Fort Lauderdale. Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl Schultz, will serve as keynote speaker.

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