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BELFAST – The Propeller Club of the United States’ Searsport and Bucksport Chapter hosted their fi rst celebration of National Maritime Day at Heritage Park in Belfast on 18 May. The celebration called attention to Bucksport’s and Searsport’s rich commercial maritime heritage. The cele- bration also brought attention to the many individuals and organizations that support growth, and safe and effi cient operations in Penobscot Bay.

National Maritime Day: In 1933 the U.S. Congress designated 22 May as Na- tional Maritime Day to honour those who serve the nation as merchant mariners. On or about that day, the nation celebrates com- mercial mariners for safely and responsibly promoting commerce and for protecting our freedom. The day is also intended to high- light the importance of the industry and our maritime heritage.

The event opened at 1000 as a number of people walked around the three tents full of exhibitors and the docks lined with all sorts of working boats.

Exhibitors included Maine Port Author- ity/Maine Dept of Transportation; Maine Better Transportation Association; Maine Maritime Academy; Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug Company, Belfast; NEARACOOS (Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems); Hamilton Marine, Searsport; Prock Marine Corpo- ration; Dragon Products/Hartley Marine, Rockland; H. O. Bouchard; Reed & Reed; Sprague Energy Corporation; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Irving Oil; Lane Construction Corporation; Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport; Cianbro Corporation; GAC Chemical Corporation; Webber Energy/ Webber Tanks; Maine Dept. of Marine Re- sources; Great Northern Paper/Thermogen Industries; and First Wind. Attending Vessels: Maine Maritime

Academy: Tug Pentagoet; Motor Vessel Ned; Penobscot Bay and River Pilots: 47’Pilot Boat Penobscot Pilot; National

Spill Response Corporation; Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug Company; Propac: oil spill response vessels; Maine Marine Patrol: 47’ patrol boat Guardian; Harbor tours aboard M/V Fish Hawk at discounted ticket price; and Ciloway III, Searsport Pilot Boat owned by Wayne Hamilton. At 1100 a service was given to honour those lost at sea and it concluded with Capt. William Abbott tossing a wreath out onto the water. This was followed with honouring the maritime person of the year. The Propeller Club of the Ports of Searsport and Bucksport was proud to announce that the recipient of the Club’s fi rst Maritime Person of the Year Award for 2013 as Peter Vigue. Peter is chair and CEO of Cianbro Corporation. A Maine native, he received a B.S. in Marine Engi- neering from Maine Maritime Academy. After work in the merchant marine, he joined Cianbro in 1970 and soon became a leader in construction. Under the leadership of peter, Cianbro has used Maine’s working ports in new and creative ways: they have brought valuable work to the port of Rockland and overhauled the former Eastern Fine Paper facility in Brewer into a modular fabrication facility. For his infl uence in improving infra- structure in the region, his appreciation for the strategic signifi cance of Maine’s work- ing ports, and his ability to bring jobs and opportunity to the state, the Propeller Club honored Peter with their award as Maritime Person of the Year.

It was great to see the people turn out, and especially the children, who got to see what a working commercial port is all about. I am sure many were impressed when the tractor tug began doing 360s in the harbor. It was a great event and one that should

defi nitely be repeated. David Gelinas, pres- ident of the Propeller Club of Bucksport and Searsport, said that he was thinking of actually doing this every other or every three years, but doing something else in between. This will certainly be discussed at their next meeting this June.

An assortment of commercial vessels sitting at one of the docks in Belfast, which were toured by a number of people on 19 May.

MMA's tug PENTAGOET, the pilot boat CILOWAY and the Penobscot Bay Tractor tug.

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