MEDIA CONTACT:
Virginia Zimmermann
Senior Communications Manager
Office 941-721-2323
Cell 941-932-1006
vzimmermann@portmanatee.com

PALMETTO, Florida – The Port Manatee Propeller Club has honored U.S. merchant mariners past and present with laying of a wreath in the port’s ship basin following landside National Maritime Day ceremonies.
“Merchant mariners have contributed significantly to the shipping industry,” said David St. Pierre, Port Manatee’s director of seaport security, who serves as Port Manatee Propeller Club president. “We owe them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices in establishing the foundation of the U.S. maritime industry.”
St. Pierre led the National Maritime Day observance today [Wednesday, May 24], joined by Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh, U.S. Navy League Sarasota Manatee Council President Dennis Turner, U.S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Deputy Sector Commander Randall E. “Randy” Brown, Anchor House Mission general manager and chaplain Trish Alligood, the Palmetto High School ROTC Color Guard and the Palmetto High School Jazz Quartet.
“Today, we pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who have devoted themselves to the U.S. Merchant Marine,” Baugh said. “We honor those who have perished at sea, during times of peace and war, but always in service to our nation.”
Culminating ceremonies at the Port Manatee Cruise Terminal, representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and Manatee County Sheriff’s Department led the laying of a wreath in the basin, followed by a moment of silence.
U.S. Congress set aside May 22 as National Maritime Day in 1933. The National Archives celebrates May as Maritime Month
Port Manatee’s Propeller Club is chartered by the International Propeller Club of the United States and is dedicated to furthering the nation’s maritime industries and the U.S. Merchant Marine. Visit www.manateepropellerclub.com to learn more about the Port Manatee Propeller Club.

Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.

 
 Boats of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Coast Guard return from laying a wreath in the Port Manatee ship basin, closing the Port Manatee Propeller Club’s National Maritime Day ceremonies
 
 Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh, U.S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Deputy Sector Commander Randall E. “Randy” Brown and U.S. Navy League Sarasota Manatee Council President Dennis Turner take part in the Port Manatee Propeller Club’s commemoration of National Maritime Day at the Port Manatee Cruise Terminal