November 8th 2019

Captain William Boyce and the crew of the MV GREEN LAKE were honored by the U.S.-flag fleet and the Maritime Administration on Nov. 1 for their part in the grueling, day-long rescue of mariners who had been forced to abandon their vessel, the SINCERITY ACE, in the wake of a raging fire.

During the Admiral of the Ocean Sea ceremony in New York, Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby presented the Gallant Ship Award to the MV GREEN LAKE and the Mariner’s Plaque and Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement to the captain and crew.

Along with Boyce, the MM&P licensed deck officers aboard the ship at the time of the rescue were Chief Mate Kevin Camarda, Second Mate Chelsea Martin and Third Mate Matthew Morgan.

Representatives of Waterman Transport Inc., owner of the MV GREEN LAKE, were on hand to accept the award for the ship.

It was the first time in 25 years that the Gallant Ship Citation had been bestowed on a U.S.-flag vessel.

“The GREEN LAKE was there to respond in the time-honored tradition of mariners coming to the aid of fellow mariners,” Buzby said.

“This American-trained crew highlights the professionalism and valor of our nation’s mariners, whether conducting humanitarian aid missions or providing vital sustainment to the U.S. Armed Forces.”

The GREEN LAKE is part of the Maritime Security Program fleet of 60 U.S.-flag ships, active in international trade, yet available on-call to meet Department of Defense transport requirements.

“Today, as we honor the crew of a great American ship, we again see the value of the Maritime Security Program to our country,” Buzby said.

The Maritime Administration described the rescue as follows.

“The GREEN LAKE’s heroic actions began on New Year’s Eve 2018 when the crew of the U.S.-flag ship responded to a disaster unfolding 2,000 miles northwest of Hawaii.

The SINCERITY ACE, a massive 650-foot car carrier, had caught fire, forcing her 21-man crew to abandon ship.

Arriving on the scene, the GREEN LAKE encountered a daunting task–locating SINCERITY ACE crew members floating in unforgiving seas spread out across several miles.

The GREEN LAKE fought 17- to 20-foot waves and turbulent winds, making lifesaving attempts even more dangerous and challenging.

The rescue effort lasted 18 hours, with the GREEN LAKE’s entire deck crew working tirelessly to get the survivors onboard.

The crew and officers of the GREEN LAKE saved seven SINCERITY ACE crew members.”

The Gallant Ship Award dates back to an executive order issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II to recognize excellence and bravery in merchant mariners.

Between 1944 and 1994, only 41 ships received Gallant Ship status.

Ships and crews receiving Gallant Ship status must have encountered substantial danger during rescue and lifesaving efforts while demonstrating efficiency, discipline and expertise in conducting such operations.