It’s that time of the year again. Media outlets start publishing their top news stories of the year. And WorkBoat is no different. Each year, in our December issue, we present the 10 biggest workboat industry news stories of the year.

Be sure to pick up your copy at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans which begins in less than two weeks. 

This year, our coverage includes topics ranging from offshore wind to workforce retention to autonomous vessels and more. 

The item that impressed me the most was the evacuation of the Staten Island Ferry Sandy Ground after a fire broke out in the engine room with 868 passengers aboard on Dec. 22, 2022. The story was a featured article in the April 2023 issue of WorkBoat.

The ferry was bound from Manhatten to Staten Island, N.Y. A little after 5:15 p.m., a 911 emergency call was made, prompting an array of entities to rush in to help. “Five New York Police Department vessels headed to the scene, and a radio call went out for all available ferries to respond. Tugboats came to help keep the Sandy Ground in position, and another ferry moved close to create a lee as wind and waves increased with stormy weather,” writes our Contributing Editor Kirk Moore.

What happened next is hard to believe considering all the factors at play, not because of the tragedy, but because of a tragedy avoided. Rescue efforts went according to plan.

If you don’t remember the story, give it another look and take pride in the people who work in the commercial marine industry.

Meanwhile, this year’s WorkBoat Show, to be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, will feature more than 900 exhibits that will be seen by over 12,000 attendees.

One of my favorite parts of the show is handing out the awards to the designers, builders, and operators of our 10 Significant Boats of the year.

Yes, another Top 10 list. See how I came back around to that? 

In addition to passing out the plaques to the 10 winners, the Boat of the Year will be announced. The winner of that award was determined by you — the readers of WorkBoat. 

It’s No. 1 on my trade show Top 10 list. We also will feature more news from the show this year, particularly coverage from the annual WorkBoat Conference Program and events. We will distribute a new daily newsletter titled "Good Morning WorkBoat" every morning during the event.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans on Nov. 29.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.