Crewmembers from 11 of Moran’s New York tugs were among many maritime workers who received awards recently for their efforts in evacuating hundreds of thousands of people after the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.
Sixty-five Moran crewmembers were among about 800 people, from many organizations, who were honored at the U.S. Transportation Department’s “9/11 Maritime Medal Awards” ceremony held in September at the World Financial Center.
In the chaos following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of lower Manhattan, many of them seeking a way to escape from Manhattan Island by boat. Even before the U.S. Coast Guard put out a radio call for “All available boats,” Moran tugs were among dozens of workboats of all types and sizes that arrived on the scene, nose into the seawall, ready to take on passengers.
“I was very proud of our people,” said Peter Keyes, Moran’s vice president in charge of New York operations. “But in the end, I would never have expected them to handle the situation any other way. They are always there when you need them.” Keyes, who was on hand to direct the tugs throughout the post-attack period, accepted the awards for Moran at the ceremony.
It is reported that as many as 300,000 people were evacuated from lower Manhattan during an eight hour period following the attacks. When the evacuation first began, Moran had 11 tugs on the scene, each taking as many as 100 people to designated sites around the port, and to New Jersey. “After the initial surge of evacuation, we went down to about five boats on the scene, still working around the clock, and after four or five days we still had two boats working there at the end,” said Keyes. “As soon as the people were taken off, the boats were used for moving emergency crews, equipment and supplies.”
Moran tugs logged a total of 256 hours during the operation, according to Keyes. The tug Turecamo Boys was on the scene longest, with 84 hours logged, followed by Marie J. Turecamo with 51 hours and Margaret Moran with 49 hours. Other tugs involved with the evacuation were Nancy Moran, Brendan Turecamo, Kathleen Turecamo, Diana Moran, Kimberly Turecamo, Miriam Moran, Turecamo Girls and Catherine Turecamo.
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Glenn A. Wiltshire presided over the awards ceremony which included a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. The transportation secretary also personally handed out awards to company representatives.