Maine Maritime Museum Honors Maine's Marine Pilots With Mariners Award
Maine Maritime Museum honored Maine’s marine pilots and the two commissions that oversee them, the Maine Pilotage Commission and the Port of Portland Board of Harbor Commissioners, with the 2015 Mariners Award at a ceremony held at the museum August 26. The Mariners Award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has made extraordinary contributions to Maine’s maritime heritage and significantly impacted the state’s culture and economy.
Rear Admiral Linda L. Fagan, Commander of the First Coast Guard District, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon and award ceremony. Senator Angus King delivered the event’s closing remarks, recognizing the pilots for their essential role in Maine’s maritime commerce.
Left to right, Captain Brain Fournier, Rear Admiral Linda Fagan, Captain Howard Wentworth, Captain Earl Walker, Captain Walter Russell, Senator Angus King. Photo courtesy of Wendy Jung, soggy dog designs.
Maine Maritime Museum Executive Director Amy Lent said, “Maine ranks second among New England states for marine traffic volume, so the importance of marine pilots to Maine’s economy can’t be overemphasized; and pilots have ensured the safety of ships, their crews, passengers and cargoes for more than 100 years, so they are an important part of our history and culture. These hardworking maritime professionals take great personal risks to perform their jobs in all weather conditions, and they deserve to be honored for their contributions to Maine’s maritime heritage.”
Pilots were recognized by the first Congress of the United States in 1789 as critical to the young nation’s commerce. Federal pilotage regulation did develop over time, a responsibility that is now under the auspices of the U.S. Coast Guard. Many of Maine’s pilots are certified by both the state and the federal government.
Corporate sponsors for the event included General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works, Sprague Energy, Bath Savings Institution, Reed & Reed, Winslow Marine, Proprietors of Union Wharf, Hamilton Marine, and Moran Shipping.