Coast Guard and local agencies attend Morning Dew memorial observance

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Local Coast Guardsmen and partner first responders from local agencies attended a memorial observance Monday in the vicinity of the north jetty entrance to Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

The memorial was held for Michael Wayne Cornett, 49 years old, Michael Paul Cornett, 16 years old, James Daniel Cornett, 13 years old, and Bobby Lee Hurd Jr., 14 years old, who perished in the sailing vessel Morning Dew tragedy of Dec. 29, 1997.

Personnel from the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, Coast Guard Sector Charleston and Coast Guard Station Charleston participated in the observance.

Members of Charleston County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Charleston Fire Department, North Charleston Fire Department, Isle of Palms Fire Department, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, North Charleston Police Department, Charleston Harbor Pilots and Charleston County Sherriff’s Office also participated in the observance.

The main portion of the event took place on the water near the original scene of the incident. Surviving family members tossed flower-laden wreaths into the water at the site. Vessels from the local agencies, including the Station Charleston crew, then sailed past the Yellowfin in a caravan, each vessel sounding its horn in remembrance.

The family was then escorted back to shore and led by police car procession to the Church of the Holy Cross on Sullivan’s Island. Rev. Rob Dewey, the senior chaplain with the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, presided over the ceremony. While there, Rear Adm. John Korn, commander of the Coast Guard 7th District, Alvin Taylor, director of South Carolina DNR, and Sheriff Al Cannon of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office delivered remarks recounting personal stories and organizational progress resulting from the tragedy.

Family members later shared personal stories of those who lost their lives when the Morning Dew sank.

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