October 14th 2021

Master mariner and longtime MM&P official Steve Werse was among the VIPs honored by Seafarers International House last week for their dedication to the wellbeing of mariners.

Werse was elected MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer in January 2013, after previously serving as Atlantic Ports Vice President.

An MM&P member since 1979, he has over 30 years at sea, including 21 as master with Central Gulf/Waterman.

“As master with Central Gulf Lines and Waterman Corporation, Steve, his officers and crew received two Citations of Merit for rescues at sea, conducted another four successful rescues at sea and for four consecutive years received the Chamber of Shipping’s Jones-Devlin Award for no down-time injuries,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“His temperament, his professionalism, his sense of personal honor and integrity separate him from the crowd.”

“Aboard ship or ashore, Steve is a teacher and a mentor,” Marcus added, calling him “the quintessential ship’s master.”

“He will bend over backwards to give of himself in passing on the skills of our chosen profession to the next generation.”

“His sincere connection with our young members has been a great gift to our organization.”

During the course of the event, which was held over from 2020 because of the pandemic, ITF Maritime Coordinator Jaqueline Smith was honored for her dedication to improving the wellbeing and working conditions of the world’s mariners, in particular those employed by flag-of-convenience ocean carriers.

Special recognition was extended to MM&P East Coast Pilot Representative Tim Ferrie, the president of The Marine Society of the City of New York.

Ferrie was honored for reasons that include his deep commitment to equal opportunities for aspiring mariners, an objective that the Marine Society under his leadership has furthered through its extensive scholarship program.

As trustee and president of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor Trust Fund, Ferrie has also distinguished himself for his efforts to protect and support retired merchant mariners with financial need.

American Maritime Congress President James Caponiti, a longtime MARAD official, was recognized for his advocacy work on behalf of the US-flag merchant marine during a 45-year career that has included nurturing a trained mariner pool and overseeing a series of initiatives aimed at promoting the economic viability of the American Merchant Marine and the sealift readiness of the United States.

Also honored at the event was Eric Ebeling, president and CEO of ARC (American Roll-on/Roll-off Carrier Group), who was recognized for his work in the areas of mariner quality of life, industry sustainability and national security.