November 19, 2014


Ferry crew is honored for its heroism


A North Carolina ferry crew was honored on Monday with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Safety and Heroism for the September 2013 rescue of two people in rough seas off of Ocracoke Island. The crew received the award in an afternoon ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

The rescue occurred on the evening of Sept. 26, 2013 when John and Renee Hoffman of Black Mountain, N.C. were sailing in the waters of Big Foot Slough. Suddenly, deteriorating weather conditions caused their sailboat to capsize. 

"It all happened so fast", said John Hoffman. "The boat flipped and we were thrown into the water."

Fortunately, the M/V Cedar Island was nearby, having just departed Ocracoke on its 8 p.m. run across Pamlico Sound. Captain Steven Goodwin maneuvered the Cedar Island into position and launched the ferry's 16-foot rescue boat, which crew members Glenn Salter and Daniel Smith piloted through 4-5 foot seas and 30 knot winds in the dark.

 Salter and Smith were able to pull the Hoffmans out of the water, and the rest of the crew brought them all back onto the ferry, where passengers already onboard the Cedar Island erupted into cheers.

"We could not be more proud of this ferry crew," said North Carolina Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "Our crews are well trained to respond to emergency situations on the open water, and in this case that training and this crew's bravery saved two lives. These people deserve every bit of recognition they're getting today."

Receiving the award were Captain Steven Goodwin, Chief Engineer Gerry Gilliken, Oiler David Paul Styron, crew members Glenn Salter, Daniel Smith, and Randy Willis, and Mate Paul Morris.



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