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New York Coast Guard, Port, and First Responders Honored

The Coast Guard Foundation honored the multi-agency response to a July fire on a vessel in the Port of Newark at a New York City event on Oct. 5.
A person takes a photograph of a helicopter flying over the Hudson River in New York
Ron labrec web v
by Ron LaBrec
October 10, 2023
Coast Guard members seated with an award
Members of Coast Guard Sector New York pose with Coast Guard, Coast Guard Foundation, and Port Authority of NY & NJ leaders at the Coast Guard Foundation's New York Salutes the Coast Guard event on Oct. 5, 2023.

The New York Salutes the Coast Guard dinner, held at Pier 60 in Manhattan, was attended by Coast Guard members, maritime and industry leaders, and supporters of the Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, July 5, 2023, a fire broke out on the motor vessel Grande Costa D’Avorio in the Port of Newark. The vessel was loaded with more than 1,200 vehicles and 134 containers at the time of the fire. The crew of the vessel immediately activated 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. Coast Guard Sector New York coordinated Coast Guard assets and established a unified command with the Port Authority of NY & NJ, as well as other state and local agencies. This group led the response that battled the fire for six days and then spent several weeks salvaging the vessel.

Coast Guard Captain of the Port Capt. Zeita Merchant and members from Sector New York, as well as Bethann Rooney, the port department director for the Port Authority of NY & NJ, accepted the award on behalf of the many Coast Guard, state, and local first responders recognized for their heroism during the response.

3 men posing with an award
Maritime executive Philip Shapiro (center) accepts an award on behalf of the Coast Guard Foundation during the New York Salutes the Coast Guard event on Oct. 5, 2023, at Pier 60 in New York. Also pictured are maritime attorney and Coast Guard veteran Tom Mills (left) and Tom Allegretti, Coast Guard Foundation Chairman (right).

The evening also honored the career of 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. He also serves as a Trustee of Webb Institute, a marine engineering and naval architecture college in Glen Cove, NY.

Group photo of Coast Guard Academy cadets and Coast Guard leaders on a riser.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Linda Fagan and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Heath Jones (center) pose with the Coast Guard Academy Glee Club at the Coast Guard Foundation New York Salutes the Coast Guard event on Oct. 5, 2023, at Pier 60.

Coast Guard members from around the region and Coast Guard headquarters in Washington were feted for their service to the maritime community and the Nation. ADM Linda Fagan, the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, was the keynote speaker. “Thank you to the Coast Guard Foundation…all you’ve done for us and continue to do, for putting on this great event here,” said Fagan. “I really want to say thank you, to all of you,” she continued referring to attendees. “Thank you for being here, thank you for your interest, support, and all that you’re doing to help your Coast Guard serve the nation.”

The Coast Guard Foundation would like to thank major sponsors Enstructure, Liberty Maritime Corporation, McAllister Towing & Transportation, and Statue City Cruises for their generous support, as well as all who sponsored and attended the event, which helped raise more than $600,000 for programs that support Coast Guard members and families.

2024 New York Salutes the Coast Guard

Title Image: An attendee at the Coast Guard Foundation's New York Salutes the Coast Guard event on Oct. 5, 2023, takes a photograph of a Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter as it flies over the Hudson River. View additional event photos here.

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