January 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Maritime College Alumni Name Norman Lee 1976 Man Of The Year

While at sea on a weekend Bahama cruise of the S/S Emerald Seas from Miami, Norman Lee, Class of 1934 of the Maritime College Alumni Association of the State University of New York, received the 1976 Man of the Year Award from the Florida Centennial Chapter of the Alumni Association, of which he is a member.

Mr. Lee is vice president-marine superintendent of Farrell Lines Incorporated of New York. Capt.

Jim Maley, chairman of the Bahama cruise, announced that the award was made in recognition of Mr. Lee's administrative and technical achievements during 41 years with Farrell Lines.

During the ceremony, mention was made of his having upheld the "Highest Traditions of the Sea" during and following the sinking by enemy action on March 29, 1942 of the M/V City of New York. Then first assistant engineer, Mr. Lee's boat was blown up by the first torpedo, while it was still in the davits.

After reassigning the boat's passengers and crew, he remained aboard to launch the chief mate's boat, and secure the main engine remote fuel shutoff to prevent rotating propeller injury to people already in the water. Sliding down a man-rope into the icy water, Mr. Lee started to swim to the mate's boat only to see it blown out of the water and capsized by the explosion of the next torpedo. He climbed into another boat and immediately instituted discipline, strict rationing, and sailed in the open sea for 13 days until picked up by the Coast Guard, managing to bring in 11 passengers and crew, out of 21, at the near loss of his own feet and hands due to exposure and freezing.

The plaque was presented on behalf of the Alumni Chapter by Capt. Grant LaMothe, master of the Emerald Seas, during an impressive ceremony at sea, with the Chapter Group of 54 alumni and their guests in attendance.

The Alumni Cruise Group guests consisted of members and wives of the following organizations, of which many alumni hold dual memberships: Circumnavigators Club, Council of American Master Mariners, Marine Society of New York, Port Engineers of New York, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Square Dancers and Trailerites of Satellite Beach, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and U.S. Power Squadron.

Other stories from January 1977 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.