DOT Honors Mariners in Rescue of Flight 1549

Yesterday, transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today presented Merchant Marine Outstanding Achievement Medals to civilian mariners who participated in the rescue of the passengers and crew of US Airways Flight 1549. The event was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, overlooking the site of the Flight 1549 crash landing on the Hudson River.

"These extraordinary men and women woke up on a cold January morning, expecting an ordinary day," LaHood said. "Yet, by the time they got to bed that night, they were true heroes. Thanks to their bravery and skill, they helped save more than a hundred lives."

Within minutes of the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 last January, civilian mariners on the Hudson River responded to the scene and began the work of rescuing survivors from the downed aircraft. Many of the civilian vessels also volunteered to ferry New York City first responders, fire, and police personnel to the crash site. Their actions helped save the lives of all 155 passengers and crew members aboard.

The Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement recognizes individuals who have made extraordinarily valuable contributions to the merchant marine. In all, 72 civilian mariners who participated in the rescue of the passengers and crew from Flight 1549 will receive medals.

On Wednesday, seven representatives from companies and private vessels involved in the rescue effort joined Sec. LaHood and other officials on-stage to receive medals in the official ceremony: Scott Keon, M/V Lt. Michael P. Murphy; Captain Vincent Lombardi, New York Waterway; Captain Ed Werber, Circle Line; Robert Giordano, New York Water Taxi; Greg Hanchrow, Staten Island Ferry; Captain Kenneth Poesl, Ken's Marine; and Glenn Miller, Miller's Launch.

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