Coast Guard captain receives praise for leadership during Deepwater Horizon response

Coast Guard District 11 NewsSAN PEDRO, Calif. – Coast Guard Capt. Roger Laferriere was awarded the Legion of Merit for his role as an Incident Commander in Louisiana during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. The Eleventh District Commander, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joseph “Pepe” Castillo, presented the award during a ceremony on Terminal Island, Oct. 15, 2011.

Laferriere was recognized for his effective and innovative use of personnel and systems, and was part of the leadership team credited with recovering over 35 million gallons of oily water, deploying 11 million feet of boom, and cleaning roughly 900 miles of shoreline.

The award presentation comes in the middle an oil spill prevention operation that Laferriere is serving as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for. The S.S. Montebello, a World War II tanker, sunk off the coast of Cambria, Calif., in December of 1941 when it was torpedoed by a Japanese Imperial Navy submarine. At the time of the sinking, the Montebello was loaded with just over three million gallons of oil.

As part of a Unified Command with California Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Laferriere is leading an assessment to determine if any oil is still onboard the ship and if it presents a threat to the California coastline.

To view information about the S.S. Montebello operation, go to and look under the “S.S. Montebello” tab.

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