The officers and crew of the Maersk Alabama, who fought off a pirate attack earlier this year, will be represented by Captain Richard Phillips, Chief Engineer; Michael Perry, and Bosun William Rios in accepting an Honored Seafarers plaque at the 40th annual United Seamen's Service (USS) Admiral of the Ocean Sea dinner on November 13, 2009.
"We are pleased that all three unions aboard the ship will be represented by the vessel department heads at this signature maritime event," said Edward R. Morgan, USS President. The unions are the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the Seafarers International Union of North America. "It is a microcosm of the bravery exhibited every day by the American seafarers involved in world commerce and supporting our military."
The Maersk Alabama crew fought off a pirate attack while maintaining control of the ship 350 miles off the coast of Somalia and whose captain was taken hostage, April 8-13. They are among the officers and crews of five American ships and a seafarer who extinguished a fire on a vessel who will be honored for heroism. The AOTOS honors this year will go to Donald Kurz of Keystone Shipping Company, Ronald Widdows of Neptune Orient Lines and the United States Coast Guard, which will receive a special award.
The officers and crew of Liberty Sun, who were fired upon and sustained damage from a pirate attack near the Gulf of Aden will also be honored. Other honorees are the officers and crew of New York Waterway, who rescued 143 passengers from a downed U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River; the USNS Lewis & Clark for eluding a pirate attack by taking evasive action to prevent a successful attack off the coast of Somalia and the officers and crew of MV Midnight Sun, who fought and extinguished a fire preventing the spread of the fire and the damage of the cargo. The seafarer who will receive a Mariner's Rosette is Third Mate Victor Manoli III, who fought and extinguished an on board fire preventing a catastrophic incident on the Sealand Quality.
The event will be held at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers.