Danny Koestler, Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply (EMIS) Vice President, recently accepted a Meritorious Public Service Award from the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Coast Guard, presented by Tim Wendt, Captain of the Port, Memphis Sector, Lower Mississippi River. EMIS was commended for "proactive casualty response actions, leadership, and contributions."
The award certificate reads as follows:
Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply is cited for outstanding public service and support to the United States Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi while responding to extreme high and low water-related incidents on the Mississippi River from April 2011 to February 2016. Multiple times during this period, the normally complex transit around Delta Point through two area bridges in Vicksburg, Mississippi, became extremely hazardous and difficult to navigate. Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply’s altruistic assistance to the public and the United States Coast Guard occurred during record level flooding in April of 2011, when they swiftly opened their facility and staffed the Vicksburg Information Center (VIC). The VIC coordinated safe vessel movements through the two-bridge area for nearly six months that year and six more times over the past five years. They provided crucial information to vessels transiting that area, dramatically reducing the number of high water related casualties. Despite valiant efforts to prevent marine allisions, Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply was repeatedly called upon to respond to a multitude of marine casualties. In January 2016, they provided on scene response to the M/V RON W. CALLEGAN allusion with the Kansas City Railroad (KCX) Bridge. Over the next seven days, Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply assisted with three additional casualties in the area: M/V INEZ ANDREAS allision with the KCX Bridge, M/V ROBERT D. BYRD allision with KCX Bridge, and M/V MARY ELIZABETH’s barge breakaway and recovery. In each incident, Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply quickly recovered multiple adrift barges, provided transportation to United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg casualty investigators and provided a riverside platform from which inspectors could conduct post casualty structural evaluations. Additionally, they actively participated in the Lower Mississippi River Committee (LOMRC) alongside the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and towing industry representatives to facilitate safe and secure flow of commerce during extreme conditions on the Mississippi River in accordance with the Waterways Action Plan. Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply’s proactive casualty response actions, leadership, and contributions are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.