Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District Awardees Announced
The Coast Guard Foundation will honor Coast Guard members who have responded to hurricanes and natural disasters in the southeast region during in the last year, including the most recent hurricanes - Irma and Maria - at the 2017 Tribute to the Seventh District in Fort Lauderdale on November 16.
Following Hurricane Harvey’s Texas landfall, which called on many Seventh District assets to support the response there, the month of September brought two more hurricanes to the area. Irma and Maria, both category-five hurricanes, did not impact a city or a region, but all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the entire state of Florida, as well as coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina. The storms brought 185 mile-per-hour winds, mass destruction and catastrophic flooding to the area.
Coast Guard Flood Punt Teams conduct rescue operations in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 11, 2017. The Coast Guard has deployed assets and resources from across the country to assist in rescue operations for Hurricane Irma.
More than 200 flights were performed by Coast Guard Seventh District heavy lift aircraft bringing in excess of 2.5 million pounds of supplies and assistance to affected areas. More than 20 Coast Guard cutters responded supporting the delivery of generators, medical supplies, food and water, and repairing critical water pumps in isolated regions like Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Buoy tenders and Aids to Navigation teams repaired buoys and critical channel markers from South Carolina to the U.S. Virgin Islands while conducting port assessments. These teams had most federally maintained waterways open within two days following the storms, which allowed for bulk shipment of aid to affected regions and the resumption of commerce to multi-billion dollar ports.
At the event, the Coast Guard Foundation will honor Coast Guard heroism and mission excellence and also recognize Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises North America, for overseeing a company whose policies greatly align with many of the core values of the Coast Guard: safety, health, and environmental protection. Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard, will deliver keynote remarks.
“Every day, the men and women of the Coast Guard serve and safeguard the public; protect the environment and its resources, and defend our Nation’s interests in our maritime region,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “They rescue people in need in the most difficult conditions, see cargo ships to port and are our first line of defense in the face of everything from storms to oil spills.
“We all witnessed this recently in their preparation for, and response to the devastating storms that hit Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. We are humbled to recognize their service and give back as much as we can.”