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Savannah’s maritime community honors its own

  • U.S Coast Guard Cmdr. Amy Beach was named Maritime Person of the Year. Beach will be promoted to captain June 30. (Mary Mayle/Savannah Morning News)
  • U.S Coast Guard Cmdr. Amy Beach was named Maritime Person of the Year.(Mary Mayle/Savannah Morning News)
  • Gary Davis tolls the bell for each member of the Savannah maritime community lost in the past year. (Mary Mayle/Savannah Morning News)

It’s a springtime ritual repeated each May in Savannah and at ports around the country as Propeller Club members gather to celebrate National Maritime Day.

This year, Savannah Propeller Club President Craig Maggioni decided to shake things up a bit.

In the past, the club has gathered on River Street to honor all those lost at sea and remember those members of the area maritime community who have died in the last year, before retiring to the Hyatt for the rest of the program.

This year, the entire event was held aboard the Georgia Queen.

Maggioni opened the program with the annual commemoration ceremony. Gary Davis rang the club’s World War II-era ship’s bell as the name of each local departed was read aloud.

This year, the bell tolled for Robert “Capt. Bob” Alonzo Jr., Ethel Inez (Morris) Armstrong, Ray Bednarski, Ernest Joe Chisolm Jr., Captain Brian Dufour, John R. Ennis Jr., Captain Edward A. Fitzgerald III, Melvin “Duck” Givens Jr., W. Allen Jennings, Clarence “C.B.” Lamar Jr., Jabri Loadholt, Tom Mahoney Jr., Paul Mobley, Captain Neil Munro and Columbus Rawls Jr.

Dudley New Jr. presented the wreath, which was tossed in the river in remembrance as the group observed a moment of silence for its late members and all those lost at sea.

The solemn part of the evening over, the group presented annual awards and recognized incoming officers and board members.

Capt. Jonathan Claughton, owner of Savannah Riverboat Cruises, was honored as Propeller Club Person of the Year. Claughton brought the Georgia Queen, the country’s largest operating riverboat, to Savannah last fall. With three floors and an open-air top deck, the boat encompasses about 38,000 square feet and can accommodate 1,000 passengers plus a crew of 240.

U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Amy Beach, Savannah’s first female Captain of the Port and commander of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit Savannah, was named Maritime Person of the Year. After serving here for three years, Beach will be promoted to captain following a change of command ceremony June 30.

On behalf of the Propeller Club, Capt. Chris Desa presented a $1,000 scholarship to Amanda Gall and a $500 scholarship to Kyle Brown. Both recipients are juniors at Georgia Southern University majoring in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation.

The club’s 2017-2018 officers were elected and installed. They are Chuck Heimes, president; Lynn Brennan, 1st vice president; Trey Thompson, 2nd vice president; Lee Beckmann, 3rd vice president; McLeod Rominger, secretary; Bob Cole, treasurer, and Langston Bass, judge advocate.

The Propeller Club of the United States - Port of Savannah is comprised of around 270 members representing more than 120 organizations in the Savannah maritime community.

Senior business reporter Mary Carr Mayle covers the ports for the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow. She can be reached at 912-652-0324 or at mary.mayle@savannahnow.com.

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Following are the ships expected to call on Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City and Ocean terminals this week. Schedules are supplied by GPA and are subject to change.

TERMINAL VESSEL ETA

GCT SPIRIT OF TOKYO Today

GCT MAERSK KINLOSS Today

GCT CMA CGM FLORIDA Today

GCT EVER LUCID Today

GCT NYK REMUS Saturday

GCT MSC KOLKATA Saturday

GCT CMA CGM GEMINI Saturday

GCT SEASPAN DALIAN Saturday

GCT MSC FLORENTINA Saturday

GCT CHARLESTON EXPRESS Saturday

GCT YM MOVEMENT Saturday

GCT COSCO VIETNAM Saturday

OT HONOR Saturday

GCT MAERSK SARNIA Sunday

GCT MAERSK KOKURA Sunday

GCT YM UTILITY Sunday

GCT ANGELES Sunday

GCT MSC VITTORIA Sunday

GCT MOL MOTIVATOR Sunday

OT TONSBERG Sunday

GCT CHEMICAL PIONEER Monday

GCT SEASPAN ALPS Monday

GCT CMA CGM RHONE Monday

GCT NORTHERN MAGNUM Monday

GCT HORIZON APHRODITE Monday

GCT YM UBIQUITY Monday

GCT MSC ANIELLO Monday

OT KIRAN CASPIAN Monday

OT SALOME Monday

GCT ZIM TARRAGONA Tuesday

GCT MEMPHIS Tuesday

GCT CMA CGM INDUS Tuesday

GCT MSC ADELAIDE Tuesday

GCT TSINGTAO EXPRESS Tuesday

GCT MSC FLORIDA Tuesday

GCT TAMMO Wednesday

GCT MAERSK KURE Wednesday

OT NOCC BALTIC Wednesday

OT NIKKEI SIRIUS Wednesday

GCT BREVIK BRIDGE Thursday

GCT NYK RIGEL Thursday

GCT MSC ANNICK Thursday

GCT MOL EMPIRE Thursday

GCT ZIM NEW YORK Thursday

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