The Coast Guard presented the final of 18 public service awards this week to the good Samaritans who responded to the Spirit of Norfolk fire.
On June 7, 2022, the passenger vessel Spirit of Norfolk was on a sightseeing cruise on the Elizabeth River with 108 passengers and crew, including two large groups of school-age children on field trips, when the vessel experienced a fire. The fire caused the vessel to become disabled and adrift in the main ship channel. The crew issued a mayday call and 15 commercial vessels from the area responded to assist with rescue and firefighting efforts.
During the evacuation, a 600-foot cargo vessel suffered an engineering casualty and was on a collision course with the Spirit of Norfolk. The crews of the responding vessels and tugs coordinated assets to maneuver both the Spirit of Norfolk and the cargo vessel before any further damage could occur.
The Coast Guard recognized the crews of the involved vessels with public service awards, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, Meritorious Public Service Award and Certificate of Merit. Five of the awards were presented at the Virginia Maritime Association Annual Banquet on Sept. 29, 2022, 12 awards at the offices of McAllister and Moran Towing companies Wednesday, as well as one at the Virginia Pilot Association Thursday.
“This community is truly fortunate for the professionalism and quick actions of these extraordinary people,” said Capt. Jennifer Stockwell, commander, Sector Virginia. “Each and every one played a valuable part in saving the lives of 108 people. These awards recognize and celebrate their selfless actions to save others.”
The parties who received awards were:
Distinguished Public Service Award:
- The crew of the Victory Rover
- The crew of the Rosemary Mcallister
Meritorious Public Service Award:
- The crew of the Ohio River
- The crew of the Condor
- The crew of the Challenger
- The crew of the Z One
- The crew of the Fort Bragg
- Captain Roger Warren, Docking Pilot
Certificate of Merit:
- The crew of the Karen Moran
- The crew of the Wendy Moran
- The crew of the Patricia Moran
- The crew of the Surrie Moran
- The crew of the Marci Moran
- The crew of the Maxwell Paul Moran
- The crew of the Clayton W. Moran
- The crew of the Gm Mcallister
- Captain Chadwick Jamison, Virginia Pilot
The cause of the incident is under investigation.