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New York City Maritime Gala to Honor Local Coast Guard Members

The Coast Guard Foundation will recognize Coast Guard members serving in the northeast United States during its New York Salutes the Coast Guard event on Oct. 5, 2023.
Photo of Coast Guard members and response personnel with fire fighting water in the background.
Ron labrec web v
by Ron LaBrec
August 21, 2023

The annual New York Salutes the Coast Guard event has highlighted the Coast Guard and maritime industry in the city since 1983. The Foundation will honor Coast Guard Sector New York and the Unified Command that responded to a fire on a vessel in the Port of Newark in July 2023.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, a fire broke out on the motor vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio in the Port of Newark. The crew of the vessel immediately activated on-board fire suppression procedures and alerted the Newark Fire Department. Firefighters from the Newark Fire Department began the initial response, which eventually included teams from other New York and New Jersey fire departments. Sector New York command center personnel coordinated Coast Guard assets and laid the groundwork for what would become weeks of battling the fire and salvaging the vessel.

A unified command was stood up by Coast Guard Sector New York with expert representation from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, Gallagher Marine and Don Jon SMIT – the representative of the vessel operator. The multitude of port partners coordinated a comprehensive effort to battle the fire and protect the public and over six days the fire was extinguished.

Photo of Philip Shapiro
The Coast Guard Foundation will honor Philip Shapiro at its New York Salutes the Coast Guard event on Oct. 5, 2023. Shapiro is a foundation trustee and President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Maritime Corporation.


The Foundation will also honor New York maritime executive and Coast Guard Foundation trustee Philip Shapiro. Shapiro founded Liberty Maritime Corporation in 1988 and serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Liberty provides ship management and operational services for its international U.S. and foreign flag trading fleet. The U.S. flag bulk carrier fleet it operates transports humanitarian relief food aid preference cargoes for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State Department’s Agency for International Development. The U.S. flag Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) managed vessels are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the U.S. government’s Maritime Security Program. This fleet carries both commercial and Department of Defense cargoes internationally for Liberty Global Logistics in its worldwide, multi-modal supply chain.

Shapiro has been a member of the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees since 2013. He is an elected member of the American Bureau of Shipping and serves on its board of directors. He is also a director on a number of other corporate and charitable boards including the North Standard Limited P&I Club Members Board, the United Seamen’s Service, and the American Maritime Congress. Shapiro also serves as a Trustee of Webb Institute, a marine engineering and naval architecture college in Glen Cove, NY.

Sponsorships and Tickets

The New York Salutes the Coast Guard dinner brings together industry leaders, government officials, and U.S. Coast Guard members from the region and beyond to celebrate the missions and heroism of Coast Guard personnel. The Coast Guard’s top national and regional leaders are scheduled to attend, including the Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Steve Poulin, and commander of Coast Guard operations in the northeast, Rear Adm. John Mauger. Coast Guard personnel from the local area will also attend. The Foundation is grateful to the many corporations and individuals who are sponsoring the event. Special thanks to major sponsors Enstructure, Liberty Maritime, McAllister Towing, and Statue City Cruises.

Helicopter pilot in a Coast Guard helicopter
Coast Guard Lt. Tevin Porter-Perry, a pilot stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey, commands an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter during a flight over New York City on April 20, 2023. The air station supports a wide range of Coast Guard operations, such as search and rescue, law enforcement, port security, and marine environmental protection for the Mid-Atlantic region and New England. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carmen Caver)

Title Image: Coast Guard Capt. Zeita Merchant, Captain of the Port of New York and Jersey, and members from Coast Guard Sector New York discuss the response to a fire on the motor vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio in Port Newark, New Jersey, July 6, 2023. Marine fire fighting specialists can be seen in the background conducting fire suppression from the pier and vessels. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Dan Henry)

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