April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Murphy Pacific's VP Captain Madeo Awarded U.S. Navy Citation

Capt. Joseph F. Madeo Jr., a vice president with Murphy Pacific Marine Salvage Company, has been awarded The Navy Meritorious Public Service Citation by Vice Adm. C.R. Bryan, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, in Washington, D.C., in recognition of his role as project manager in charge of clearing the Suez Canal during 1974. This is the second highest award that the Department of Defense can bestow upon a civilian.

Captain Madeo was a career naval officer primarily specializing in salvage during his 30 years tenure with the United States Navy. Upon his retirement from the Navy in October 1970, he came to Murphy Pacific as a salvage master assigned to the company's salvage vessel M/V Cable in Key West, Fla., became operations manager in July 1973, and in September 1975 was elected a vice president in charge of operations.

Captain Madeo led a work force consisting of 215 men, including 28 divers, and a virtual task force of heavy floating equipment and tugs to accomplish the Suez clearance.

The approximately $ll-million contract was undertaken by Murphy Pacific under its standby contract with the Navy. The magnitude of the task and the logistic difficulties were the twin aspects that elevated the project from the routine to the extraordinary.

Although none of the 10 wrecks posed problems that called for spectacular solution, the sheer magnitude of working through the 101-mile length of the Canal on 10 distinct wrecks, each in itself a major salvage effort, made this a historical salvage accomplishment.

It was completed ahead of schedule — in slightly less than seven months — within the budget and without serious injury, against a background of war-shattered economy and ruined cities.

Other stories from April 1977 issue


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