NORFOLK — The Coast Guard presented the final of 18 public service awards this week to good Samaritans who responded to the Spirit of Norfolk fire, it announced.
The Spirit of Norfolk was on a sightseeing cruise on the Elizabeth River in June with 108 passengers and crew, including two large groups of school children on field trips, when it caught fire and was disabled and adrift in the main ship channel.
Fifteen commercial vessels responded to the crew’s mayday call to assist with rescue and firefighting efforts.
During the evacuation, a 600-foot cargo vessel suffered an engineering issue and was on a collision course with the Spirit of Norfolk. Responding vessels and tugs coordinated to maneuver both the Spirit of Norfolk and the cargo vessel, preventing any further damage.
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 those awards were presented at the Virginia Maritime Association Annual Banquet on Sept. 29, 12 awards at the offices of McAllister and Moran Towing companies Wednesday, and 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.”
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 remains under investigation.