The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) presented a Ship Safety Award to CBC Captain Katherine Chaplin and her crew of the MV CAROLINE at the Ship Safety Achievement Annual Awards Luncheon June 3, 2010.
On August 10, 2009, the MV CAROLINE, with a tow of 5 barges on the ICWW near Texas City, TX, was hit from behind by another boat pushing the lead barge up onto the stern of the MV CAROLINE and causing the boat to sink up to the galley. Captain Chaplin had just finished her watch when the incident occurred. She quickly assembled the crew and made preparations to deploy the skiff. As the overtaking tow pushed the stern of the MV CAROLINE down, the generators necessary for deploying the skiff were flooded. Captain Chaplin then determined the crew should abandon ship and move to the barges for safety. Captain Chaplin’s primary concern was the health and safety of her crew. “Everyone stepped up to the task to ensure crew safety and minimal damage to the vessel and the environment they were in,” said Captain Chaplin. In total, the crew of the MV CAROLINE had over 40 years of service and they were able to handle the incident.
When it was clear all was safe, Captain Chaplin immediately turned her focus to the safety and protection of the environment, deploying mini-booms around the vessel to contain any leaks caused by the incident. This quick action by the crew ensured adherence to the highest standards of environmental protection. Captain Chaplin followed the procedures covered in the Emergency Response Training sessions CBC regularly conducts, and the appropriate parties were informed of the incident.
The quick thinking and proactive response of Captain Chaplin’s crew helped avoid any injuries to the crew, and helped minimize the environmental impact of this incident. Congratulations to Captain Chaplin and the crew of the MV CAROLINE for earning a 2009 Ship Safety Achievement Award.