HOUSTON — Rear Adm. Dave Callahan, the Coast Guard’s 8th District commander, presented the Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award to several outstanding members of the maritime community at the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee meeting at the Houston Pilots facility in Houston Friday.
The award was presented for their prompt and effective response to a major marine casualty involving the 800-foot tank-ship Aframax River and the petroleum fire that ensued in the Houston Ship Channel on Sept. 6, 2016. They were presented to Port of Houston Fire Department Chief Glenn Hood and Senior Capt. Kirk Beverung, G&H Towing Capt. Douglas Scott and Capt. William Curry and Houston Pilots Capt. Michael McGee and Capt. Michael Phillips.
The fire started when the hull was punctured and sparked the ship’s fuel reserves. Jumping into action, the Houston Pilots and G&H Towing members were able to get the ship moved out of more danger and the Port of Houston firefighters extinguished the fire preventing what could have been a major disaster for the Houston Ship Channel.
Fortunately, the tanker’s cargo was unloaded at the time, minimizing impact to the environment and preventing any injuries.