Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ninth Coast Guard District Recommended Reading

Duluth, Minnesota -

Rich Ellefson, Hoyt Purinton and I attended the Passenger Vessel Association fall Great Lakes Region meeting in Duluth Oct 18-20.  Approximately 40 persons representing 25 companies were present, and we were joined by members of several U.S. Coast Guard offices, including Sector Milwaukee and the Duluth Marine Safety Office, and Charles Barbee who as a retired career officer now heads the Coast Guard Marine Investigative Unit centered in Washington D.C. 

Joining this group for lunch Tuesday was guest speaker RDML Michael Parks, Ninth District Commanding Officer from Cleveland, OH.  All U.S. Great Lakes operators between Duluth and Buffalo, plus Lake Ontario, fall under the safety inspection network and regulatory management of the Ninth Coast Guard District.  I believe this was the first Great Lakes regional meeting I've attended (since 1976) where the District Commander made an appearance.  RDML Parks' informative remarks, his response to our questions afterwards, and the fact he took time to recognize our particular segment of the larger marine community, were appreciated.  

I had the pleasure of sitting to RDML Parks' left during lunch, and I learned something of his previous Coast Guard duty experiences.  It turns out the Admiral had visited Washington Island in the early 1990s when the location of the Coast Guard's Plum Island search and rescue facility shifted to Washington Island.  Parks spoke about the Coast Guard's emergency role in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina from first-hand experience, and also challenges faced by the Coast Guard in addressing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill earlier this year.  

RDML Parks had with him a copy of my book, Words On Water, which he cited during his speech as a book well worth reading.  He then presented a copy of the book as "assigned reading" to new Duluth MSO inspector LT Geoffrey Scibek, with intended good humor but also as an instructive perspective of one Great Lakes ferry company.  Later, after having first inscribed LT Scibek's book, I presented a fresh copy to Admiral Parks and we posed for this photo.

-  Dick Purinton 


Anonymous said...

How does one acquire a copy of your book?

Richard Purinton said...

Excellent question... you may order from the publisher:
Cross+Roads Press / PO Box 33 / Ellison Bay, WI 54210 $19.95 + $4 t+s+h .... or....

Washington Island Ferry Line, Inc.
attn: Richard
PO Box 39 / Washington Island, WI 54246
$19.95 + $4 t+s+h

Thanks for asking. - DP