Chenega captain to accept lifesaving award during New York City gala

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

JUNEAU - The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry Chenega and its crew will be honored Friday night during an estimated 800-attendee gala in New York City.

Chenega's skipper, Capt. Samuel Daniels, will attend the Admiral of the Ocean Sea award dinner ceremony where he will accept the Honored Seafarer Award on behalf of the ship, AMHS and the State of Alaska.

AMHS and the Chenega crew are being honored for the rescue Chenega's crew performed June 8 after they plucked two men and a boy out of the frigid waters of Prince William Sound near Southcentral Alaska.

The award presentation and dinner is hosted and coordinated by the United Seamens Service (USS). The USS is an organization that has promoted the welfare of seamen since 1942 and supplies seagoing libraries to the American Merchant Marine, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and to seafarers of allied nations through its affiliate, the American Merchant Marine Library Association, Public Library of the High Seas since 1921.

"Each member of Team Chenega has every reason to be incredibly proud of their lifesaving actions and the value they place on the lives of others who travel Alaska's dangerous waters," said Leo von Scheben, Commissioner, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Chenega's Fast Rescue Boat (FRB) crew sped to the boaters who were clinging to debris to remain afloat. Chenega's crew rescued 28-year-old Luke Renner of Homer and Andy Renner, 31, and his eight-year-old son Owen, both of Palmer, on that Alaska summer day. Their 22-foot pleasure boat reportedly sank after the vessel's bow was struck by several waves.

"I was so amazed at how fast the crew got to us," said Luke Renner. "I'll be booking reservations on the ferries from now on."

Chenega's crew also rescued four kayakers in September who found themselves in stormy seas and 30-knot winds off the shores of Whittier, Alaska.

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