Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District
The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that its annual Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District will be held at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.
At the event, the Foundation will recognize Coast Guard Sector San Juan with the Coast Guard Foundation Award and will also recognize Joseph E. Farrell, Jr., president and CEO of Resolve Marine Group, for his support of the Coast Guard Foundation. Vice Admiral Karl Schultz, Commander of the Atlantic Area will be the keynote speaker and Reggie Rivers will emcee the event.
Coast Guard Sector San Juan will be recognized for its response to the Caribbean Fantasy ferry accident on August 17, 2016. That morning, 911 operators relayed reports of a cruise ship on fire just outside the harbor in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Subsequent radio calls to the Caribbean Fantasy, a 614-ft. passenger and cargo ferry inbound from Dominican Republic, confirmed that a fire in their engine room was out of control, toxic smoke was filling the passageways, and that the vessel’s 511 passengers and crew were abandoning ship. The events that quickly unfolded mark the largest Mass Rescue Operation in U.S. waters in 60
years, and highlight the awe inspiring unity of effort which has come to be expected of the United States Coast Guard.
Immediately recognizing the gravity of the situation, Sector San Juan mobilized all available assets. For the next several hours men, women and children embarked from life rafts or made harrowing descents down the vessel’s steep Marine Evacuation Slide system from 50 feet above the waterline – past the hull of the ship, which was so hot from the fire its paint was blistering and sloughing off – to be met by Coast Guard men and women who pulled them to safety.
“The brave men and women of the Coast Guard are called upon to be ready to act in a moment’s notice,” said Anne Brengle, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “Rescues at sea can be in the midst of a frigid Northern storm, or in this case, on a beautiful calm Caribbean day. These individuals exemplify the professionalism and resolve that make the Coast Guard vital to the safety of our nation.”
Farrell and Marine Resolve Group are being recognized for their accomplishments in the industry, contributions to the community, and continued support of the Coast Guard Foundation. With more than 50 years’ experience working in, on and under the world’s
oceans, Farrell has been at the helm of Resolve for 35 years, guiding the organization through tremendous growth to become a world leader in global marine services, specializing in ship salvage/rescue, emergency response, maritime training, naval
architecture, marine engineering and creating artificial reefs to prevent coastal erosion.
Vice Admiral Schultz serves as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. In addition to his duties at Atlantic Area, he serves as Commander, Coast Guard Defense Force East, which provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.
A former NFL running back who played six seasons with the Denver Broncos during the 1990s, Rivers is a media personality and business owner, who has worked in newspaper, radio and television in Denver. He graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Journalism, and earned a Master’s Degree in Global Studies from the University of Denver.
He has written five books, the latest is the award winning novel, The Colony: A Political Tale.
The Coast Guard Foundation’s Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach, 3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and the program following.