USCG Welcomes Cutter Margaret Norvell

By Lt. Stephanie Young, USCG
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell is named after lighthouse keeper Margaret Norvell who served with the U.S. Lighthouse Service for more than 41 years. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

She was a leader. She was a trailblazer. She was a lifesaver. She’s the namesake of the Coast Guard’s newest cutter – Margaret “Madge” Norvell.

The Coast Guard welcomed their newest fast response cutter to the fleet this weekend as Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell was commissioned in Miami. The cutter is the first in its class to be named after a Coast Guard heroine.

Norvell, a member of the U.S. Lighthouse Service, first served at the Head of Passes Light as an assistant keeper from 1891 to 1896. She was credited for numerous rescues during her time as keeper, maintaining a vigilant watch at the entrance of the Mississippi River.

In just one of many rescues, Norvell saved a survivor of a downed airplane in 1926. When she received word a naval airplane had gone down in Lake Pontchartrain, she jumped into her boat and rowed to the survivor of the crash. After battling a squall for two hours on the lake, she rescued the survivor and brought him safely back to shore.

Norvell’s resilience was most evident during a storm in 1903. The powerful storm destroyed every building in the small community but one – her lighthouse. Norvell provided shelter and cared for the more than 200 people who had been left homeless.

“Before this cutter I had no clue who Margaret Norvell was or what she did for the service. But now that I have learned not only the stories of the lives she saved as a lighthouse keeper but also how she supported her family, it motivates me to be a better person for mine,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Eduardo Quinones, a machinery technician aboard cutter Margaret Norvell.

Her bravery as she pulled in shipwrecked sailors did not go unnoticed and she was soon appointed keeper of both Port Pontchartrain Light and West End Light. In the end, Norvell stood the watch for 41 years with the U.S. Lighthouse Service.

“As a female Coast Guardsman I am especially proud and honored to not just serve but commission the first fast response cutter named after an enlisted woman,” said crewmember Petty Officer 1st Class Christine Strenkert. “I am extremely humbled by the heroism of Margaret Norvell and without her trailblazing the way for females in the service, I wouldn’t be serving on her namesake today.”

Being a lighthouse keeper was one of the first non-clerical U.S. government jobs open to women. While many may not know the story of Norvell, or other lighthouse keepers like her, the crew of cutter Margaret Norvell hopes to embody her trailblazing spirit.

“Being a plank owner is a great honor. It’s honoring my country, my home state, the family of a hero and my family. It allows me to be a part of Coast Guard history. Being a part of the commissioning crew and getting to meet the Norvell family has been a unique experience I won’t soon forget,” said crewmember Petty Officer 1st Class John Thompson.

Norvell’s heritage as a humanitarian and lifesaver will live on in every crewmember serving aboard her namesake. At 154-feet long, an impressive array of capabilities and the newest shipboard technologies, there is no doubt they will live up to Margaret “Madge” Norvell’s legacy.

coastguard.dodlive.mil

  • The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

    The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

  • Crewmembers on the bridge of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

    Crewmembers on the bridge of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

  • Underway aboard the service’s newest fast response cutter. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

    Underway aboard the service’s newest fast response cutter. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

  • The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
  • Crewmembers on the bridge of Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
  • Underway aboard the service’s newest fast response cutter. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

WOW at USMMA

The United States Merchant Marine Academy Hosts 7th Annual Women on the Water Conference. Last week, The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in conjunction with the U.

Methanol Powered Ferry Launched in Baltic Sea

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has announced that it has converted the Stena Germanica to run on methanol, an industry first.   The company spent $24 million on converting the ship to methanol.

U.S. Oil Train Traffic mostly from Midwest to East Coast

U.S. oil trains delivered more than 13.5 million barrels of crude oil from the Midwest to the East Coast in January, according to government data that gives a first

Coast Guard

Malaysia Detains Nigerian Bandit Vessel

The Nigerian flagged fishing vessel, Viking, has been detained in Malaysia for violations of Malaysian maritime law.   Malaysian authorities have indicated that

USNS Spearhead Delivers Materials to Ghana Charities

The U.S. Navy’s joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) delivered wheelchairs and medical supplies to Ghanaian non-governmental organizations March 26, 2015.

USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season

Vessels

BMT Expands to Meet Increased Workload

BMT Nigel Gee (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group, has announced the completion of new offices in Southampton in order to meet a large increase in design work.   Operating

Enhancements for Standard 22 Gyro Compass

The German navigation system manufacturer Raytheon Anschütz has announced a new revision of the Anschütz Standard 22 Gyro Compass System. The enhancements improve

NYC Ferries: Gladding-Hearn Building Three New Vessels

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, has begun construction of the first of three new sightseeing vessels for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Inc., in New York City.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2185 sec (5 req/sec)