Plimsoll Award winners to be presented

Ocean Navigator's sister publication, Professional Mariner, a trade journal for mariners who make a living on the sea and in the U.S. inland waterways, honors professionals in the maritime industry each year for their outstanding service. The editors of Professional Mariner magazine have announced the 2002 winners of the Samuel Plimsoll Award, given for outstanding service by individuals and organizations in promoting marine safety and safe ship and port operations.

Dr. Anita Rothblum, a research scientist at the Coast Guard’s Research & Development Center in Groton, Conn., will be presented the 2002 Samuel Plimsoll Award for Outstanding Service (individual). The Sandy Hook Pilots and the U.S. Coast Guard Activities New York will be presented Plimsoll Awards for outstanding service by an organization.

Dr. Rothblum has served the U.S. Coast Guard’s R&D Center for over a decade, working tirelessly to establish sound science to effect safer operations aboard vessels in the United States and abroad. Her work in quantifying fatigue as one of the most significant factors in marine causalities — and her interest in identifying the human-factors precursors to accidents — is resulting in improved safety and even changes in centuries-old mindsets on the part of crew, ship managers and government personnel.

She is being recognized for her work in human-factors issues that have been instrumental in initiating Coast Guard programs and industry-sponsored programs to better manage the often-dangerous occupation of running maritime operations.

Each year Professional Mariner magazine presents a Plimsoll Award to a maritime organization to recognize its outstanding contribution to marine safety.

This of course was no ordinary year because of the events of Sep. 11. In view of those events, Professional Mariner is presenting the Plimsoll Award to not one but two organization, both of which rushed to provide assistance to those caught up in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

The Sandy Hook Pilots and the U.S. Coast Guard Activities New York reacted instantaneously to the sight of smoke billowing out of the North Tower. Both organizations have their headquarters on Staten Island, facing across New York Harbor towards lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site.

As they witnessed the atrocities, the pilots and the Coast Guard took the initiative. They set up a command post on the pilot boat New York. From there they coordinated the prodigious efforts of the maritime community to evacuate people fleeing the area and to support the efforts by firefighters and police to rescue victims, extinguish the fire and assist the injured.

On a day that Americans will always remember, the pilots and the Coast Guard behaved in the finest maritime tradition of rushing to the aid of those in distress.

MarCas 2002 is organized by Professional Mariner magazine and sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Society of American Naval Engineers, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Environmental Protection Association, and the U.S. Marine Safety Association. The mission of MarCas 2002 is to provide information to maritime professionals that will enable them to lower the risks and human costs of ship and port accidents, no matter what the cause.

The Plimsoll Awards will be presented at the Maritime Casualty Conference & Expo (MarCas 2002), to be held Feb. 26 and 27, 2002, at the Maritime Institute of Technology Training and Conference Center (MITAGS), located just outside of Baltimore. For further information on attending the Plimsoll Award Ceremony or MarCas, contact the Maritime Casualty Conference & Expo at P.O. Box 418, Rockport, ME, 04856; fax 207-236-0369; telephone 207-236-6196; email, or see the website:

By Ocean Navigator