A Salute To The American Merchant Marine Leadership In World Maritime Safety

U.S.-flag shipping — on the oceans, the Great Lakes and Inland Waterways — has again proven to be an undisputed leader in world maritime safety.

This was evident during the Annual Ship Safety Awards Luncheon, sponsored by the American Institute of Merchant Shipping and the National Safety Council's Marine Section, held at the Downtown Athletic Club, New York, N.Y. U.S.-flag ships of all types were honored for, collectively, operating more than 127 consecutive years without a crew member losing a full turn on watch because of an occupational injury.

Government officials and key executives from all coasts and all segments of the U.S. maritime industry attended the luncheon in a salute to the American Merchant Marine's leadership in marine safety.

Two types of awards were given.

One was the National Safety Council Awards, covering a variety of interests, from dock workers, dredgers and towboats to shipyards and shipping fleets.

These awards are based on the lowest personnel accident frequency rate among competing companies for the previous year.

They were presented by Rear Adm. James S. Gracey, Commander, Ninth U.S. Coast Guard District (Great Lakes), and David S. Walker, manager, Boston Tow Boat Company, and general chairman of the NSC Marine Section.

The second, the Jones F. Devlin Awards, sponsored by AIMS and given to individual U.S. ships operating for extended accidentfree periods (two, four and more years), were presented by AIMS vice president Albert E. May and Capt. Jones F. Devlin, retired United States Lines' vice president (Operations), for whom the Devlin Awards are named.

Devlin Awards were presented to 27 ships owned by 10 U.S.-flag companies and three vessels operated by the Military Sealift Command.

The 30 vessels collectively sailed 46,355 days (127 years) without a lost-time personnel accident onboard.

As an example of unusual safety competence, in the Devlin Awards' Dry Cargo Category, four vessels of United States Lines were honored for operating a total of 6,730 days (over 17 years) without a crew member losing a full turn on watch due to injury. One of those, the S/S American Lark, won a special Devlin award for sailing eight years without a lost-time personnel accident—a contest record for U.S.-flag cargoliners. For the first time, a U.S.-flag barge-carrying vessel won an award. Charles P.

McFaull, safety director, Delta Steamship Lines, accepted a twoyear award for the lighter aboard ship (LASH) vessel S/S Delta Norte, which has sailed 827 accident- free days to and from South America.

In the tanker category, Texaco Inc. led the way with six winners.

Its Texaco Montana and Texaco Georgia operated 11 and 10 years, respectively, without a crew injury.

Getty Oil Company's Wilmington Getty and New York Getty also won top honors, the two ships steaming a total of 21 years with perfect personnel safety records.

For the fourth consecutive year, ships of the Military Sealift Command qualified in the Devlin Awards program, open to the Command's civilian-manned vessels.

Two-year awards for the USNS Atakapa, Range Sentinel and De Steiguer were presented to the Commander of MSC, Navy Rear Adm. Sam H. Moore.

In the NSC Marine Section Safety Contest, first place plaques are given in four areas: Tanker, Dry Cargo-Passenger Vessels, Stevedoring, and Shipbuilding and Repair Divisions.

First place plaque winner in the Tanker Divisions was Getty Oil Company (Eastern Operations- Marine), which had the lowest fleet injury frequency rate for the previous year in competition with other company fleets on all seacoasts. Texaco was runner-up in that division.

In the Dry Cargo and Passenger Vessel Division, a first place plaque was presented to the Ford Motor Company's Marine Department, Dearborn, Mich., which won in the Great Lakes Straight Deck Category. In addition, Huron Cement Co., Detroit, won first place recognition in the Great Lakes' "Self Unloader" Cargo Ship Category.

The U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility in Yokosuka, Japan, won a first place plaque in the U.S.

Government Shipbuilding and Repair Division. A second place certificate in that Division went to the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Yard, Subic Bay (the Philippines).

A first place plaque went to Hilo (Hawaii) Transportation and Terminal Co. in the Stevedoring Division's General Cargo Category.

In NSC's Harbor Equipment Division (dredging vessels, tugs, barges, etc.), first place recognition went to the Corps of Engineers' Missouri River Division, Omaha, Neb.

The National Safety Council also honored the U.S. towing industry.

First place plaques were presented by Admiral Gracey to Texaco's Marine Department, Port Arthur, Texas; Exxon Company, USA's Marine Department, Baytown, Texas, and Western Transportation Co., Portland, Ore. A second place certificate in the towing contest also went to Exxon Company, USA's Marine Department in Houston, Texas.

Special towing awards were also given for perfect safety records (no personnel injuries in 1976) to Boston Tow Boat Company, Levingston Shipbuilding Company, Orange, Texas, Mobile River Sawmill Division, Mt. Vernon, Ala., and Exxon Company, U.S.A., Everett, Mass.

In a joint statement, Messrs.

Walker and May said: "We are well aware of certain unfortunate maritime tragedies that made headlines this year. However, successful U.S. maritime safety programs may not be making the headlines but are having a significant impact in this country.

We are well into a national program to make our industry safer and healthier for every man or woman who goes to sea for a living or works shoreside.

"The Awards we are presenting today," they continued, "represent the hard and dedicated work of U.S. maritime Safety Directors who, backed by the dedication of topside shipping executives, are conducting farreaching marine safety campaigns, in cooperation with the National Safety Council, that have led to safer ships, safer shipyards and safer working conditions in the harbors and on the docks." As to "safer Ships," the NSC and Devlin Awards winners are testimonials to this. The 11 U.S.- flag organizations and the number of Devlin award-winning ships from each include The Cleveland- Cliffs Iron Company (1) ; Columbia Transportation Division-Oglebay Norton Company (3) ; Delta Steamship Lines, Inc. (1) ; Getty Oil Company (4) ; International Ocean Transportation Corp. (2) ; Lykes Bros. Steamship Co., Inc.

(3) ; Military Sealift Command (3) ; The Ohio River Company (1) ; Standard Oil Company (Indiana) (2) ; Texaco Inc. (6), and United States Lines, Inc. (4).

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 30,  Aug 1977

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