Tall Ships America held its 40th annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships in Erie, Pa., on Feb. 4-6, which was attended by more than 180 tall ship officers, sailors, educators, from North America and Europe.
The purpose of the conference is to discuss topics and trends affecting the industry, hear from experts in maritime safety and education, and to recognize sail trainers who have achieved at the highest levels. At this recent conference, the Allen Agency of Camden, Maine, and Tall Ships America of Newport, R.I., were pleased to recognize the U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue team who risked their lives to save the crew of the tall ship HMS Bounty.
Representing Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center and Air Station Elizabeth City were Aviation Maintenance Technician 3 Michael Lufkin, Operations Specialist 1 Corley Myres and Lt. Cmdr. Peyton Russell, who received the Allen Agency Special Award for Safety at Sea “in appreciation, gratitude and respect for your consummate professional skill and exceptional bravery in the Search and Rescue of the HMS Bounty crew.” HMS Bounty foundered on Oct. 29, 2012, in Hurricane Sandy, about 90 miles off of the coast of North Carolina. Ultimately, 14 crew members were returned home thanks to the valiant efforts of the USCG Search and Rescue team.
The award was presented in a moving ceremony at the conference, to a standing ovation from the entire assembled sail training community.
“With typical humility, the courageous men and women of the USCG [Search and Rescue] team insist they were ‘only doing their jobs’. We will be forever grateful, then, that their job is to be heroes to all mariners who venture on the high seas”, said Bert Rogers, executive director of Tall Ships America.
The Allen Agency Special Award for Safety at Sea is bestowed only for outstanding contributions to safety of life at sea.
The Allen Agency is the endorsed insurance provider for Tall Ships America, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. Tall Ships America is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by Congress as the Sail Training organization representing the United States. www.tallshipsamerica.org