Stressing that "ordinary people can do extraordinary good if given a chance," U. S. Representative Virginia Foxx
, R-N.C., on the floor of the U. S. Congress recently commended the bravery of the crew of the Horizon Falcon containership operated by Horizon Lines, Inc.
Rep. Foxx was speaking about the dramatic rescue this summer of Chinese
seafarers in Asian seas performed by the American crew of the Horizon
Falcon, a 722-foot containership.
Rep. Foxx, who represents North Carolina's Fifth District, tied the rescue to a recognition of the United States Coast Guard, noting that when Americans think of open-seas rescue operations, "they think rightly about our Nation's Coast Guard, which has a distinguished history of search and rescue missions dating back 217 years."
The Horizon Falcon was the first vessel to arrive on the scene after the log ship's crew alerted the Coast Guard. Horizon Lines is a member of AMVER, a voluntary program sponsored by US Coast Guard for mutual vessel assistance and rescue. "When the Horizon Falcon arrived
, it found survivors in the water surrounded by an oil slick and debris from the sunken ship. With the U.S. Coast Guard on the way, the Horizon Lines' vessel immediately began a search and rescue operation amidst treacherous 30-foot swells and 40-mile-an-hour winds," Rep. Foxx recounted.
She told the members of congress how the Horizon Falcon's captain, Tom McDorr, navigated through the heavy seas filled with the log ship's cargo and managed to get the huge container ship within range of a rescue mission using one of the ship's lifeboats. "I cannot say enough to commend the bravery of these men who risked their lives to save someone with whom they had no connection. Their selfless act was a demonstration of profound humanity in the face of extreme danger," said Rep. Foxx.