Cargo Business News

September 2011

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16 Photo courtesy of Sandy Hook Pilot Association Armada rescues tra A difficult yet "shining hour for the and hopped on board the Franklin Reinauer. As they headed New York pilot boat off lower Manhanttan on Sept. 11, 2001. A across, billows of smoke streamed from the World Trade Center towers. When they arrived at Battery Park Pier, about 12 other tugboats were circling around, waiting for instructions. Peterson took the bull by the horns and became the unofficial waterfront coordinator n armada of tugboats, ferries and small craft came to the rescue of hundreds of thousands of trapped New Yorkers last month. They ferried survivors to safety. They helped bring out bodies. They brought hot food for the workers, and now they are at work helping to clear the rubble. The U.S. Coast Guard was full of praise for all the mariners involved. It estimated nearly one million people were evacuated by sea. Lt. Michael Day from Coast Guard Activities New York was on board the pilot boat New York helping coordinate the mass evacuation. "It was a shining hour for the mari- time community," said Day, chief of the Waterways Oversight branch. "They did a remarkable job." CALLING ALL WORKBOATS On Tuesday Sept.11, two hijacked jetliners flew into the World Trade Center towers in a terrorist attack. The U.S.C.G. put out a distress call for all tugs and small craft in the area to respond. Nobody could get off lower Manhat- tan and survivors were fleeing down to the waterfront. When the call came, Ken Peterson was on Staten Island, about half an hour across the water. Peterson, port captain at Reinauer Transportation, sent four tugboats over that memorable day. Glen Mi l ler , from Miller's Launch, and NY/NJ pilot Andrew McGovern joined in organising the impromptu fleet. Twenty-seven tugboats picked up 3,300 people from lower Manhattan that Tuesday, ferrying them in small batches to safety. The Staten Island ferries, com- muter boats and dinner boats were also kept busy with the survivors. "They were dusty and bloodied," said Peterson. "Some people had lost their homes completely, and didn't know where to go." Peterson walked up to Ground Zero and talked with the rescue crews. "The faces of the people... they were just tired and determined to find people alive." For the next four days, the team of tugboats evacuated people from Battery Point, from Pier 11 and from North Cove Marina. As time went on they became more organized, handing out sheets and blankets and setting up signs for different destinations. 6,000 PEOPLE FERRIED TO SAFETY; VARIETY OF ROLES PLAYED Peterson estimated up to 6,000 people were ferried to safety by tugboats in the four days that fol- lowed the attacks. New Yorkers await evacuation at Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan, after the World Trade Centers collapsed September 11. Moran Towing, which had nine tug- boats working in the harbor that Tuesday, was heavily involved. "Most of them were covered with soot, but like most New Yorkers, they were a courageous lot," said Moran president Greg McGinty of the survivors. At one stage they agreed to ferry bodies to temporary morgues on Staten Island. "We asked the guys, as it's a hard job," said McGinty. As it turned out, there were very few bodies, and they only made one run. Sanitation scows were also shuttled back and forth, moving rubble from the devastated area. McGinty downplayed their role. "We didn't do anything much. The firemen and the police department here have been so incredible. I'm very proud of being September 2011 S U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty officer Mike Hvozda REPRINT FROM THE OCTOBER 2001 ISSUE OF MARINE DIGEST

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