Coast Guard Sector Baltimore receives Congressman James Sener Award

BALTIMORE – Coast Guard Sector Baltimore received the Congressman James Sener Award for excellence in marine investigations Friday.

The Sector’s marine investigation department was recognized for demonstrating exceptional skill and positively influencing marine safety during the investigation into the motor vessel Montrose, a 711-foot Liberian flagged cargo vessel, which ran aground in the mouth of the Choptank River in 2007.

The Montrose ran aground outside a federally maintained shipping channel after departing Baltimore loaded with coal Feb. 28, 2007. Initial efforts to free the vessel were unsuccessful; therefore, Sector Baltimore personnel formed a unified command to manage the pollution risk and the offload of more than 7,000 metric tons of coal. March 7, 2007, the vessel was refloated and underwent two days of inspections before it was determined to be safe for sea.

“The Montrose investigation was notable, requiring the investigative team to practice exceptional professionalism, investigative skill, considerable diplomacy and extraordinary international cooperation,” said Cmdr. Brian K. Penoyer, the deputy commander at Sector Baltimore.

The Sener Award honors and recalls Congressman James Sener’s contributions to the safety of mariners, vessels and the marine environment by recognizing truly exceptional marine investigations.

The Sener Award last publicly recognized awardees in 2004. The award was reinstated to recognize investigative work conducted from 2005 through 2008.

The Coast Guard investigative team recognized was Lt. Nicole Rodriguez, Chief Warrant Officer Peter Hackett, Lt. Rob Krisner, Lt. Corydon Heard and Petty Officer 1st Class Herbert Fowlks. Also recognized was Bob Ford, a Republic of Liberia investigator.

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