ST LOUIS – Capt. Cory Gauron, Yankee Roamer, Key West, Fla., is the recipient of the 2010 Roger Murphy Maritime Safety Award. The award was presented by PVA, and Coast Guard Commandant Robert J. Papp, during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2011, held here in St. Louis, Mo.
The events that led to this award occurred on Thursday, November 18, 2010, when the Yankee Freedom II was transiting from the Dry Tortugas National Park to Key West when it encountered a distressed vessel and 19 Cuban nationals clinging to flotsam two nautical miles from Marquesas Keys. Captain Gauron immediately alerted the Coast Guard of Sector Key West and his crew, along with the passengers onboard, and began to pull the stranded aboard using any means possible. There were eight remaining Cubans still aboard the vessel, which the Captain and his crew helped to stabilize. They provided warmth and medical attention for those in need until the Coast Guard and the Florida Wildlife Commission arrived.
Captain Gauron was selected by the PVA Safety and Security Committee from a field of three exceptional candidates, all of whom were responsible for saving lives in 2010. The runners up were Lindblad Expeditions, which rescued recreational boaters stranded adrift at sea. The Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation, which used their medical training to save a deep sea mariner in need of help.
The Yankee Roamer is based in Gloucester, Mass., owned and operated by Jerry and Carol Hill.
The award is in honor of the late Roger Murphy. Murphy was a long standing member of PVA and committed advocate of marine safety. He also founded the PVA Safety and Loss Control Committee, presently known as the PVA Safety and Security Committee.