Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tugboat "Rescues" & Alison Bate

October, 2001, Marine Digest, Armada Rescues Trapped New Yorkersby Alison Bate,
[no date] Moran Tugs, Moran Crews Cited for 9/11 Evacuation Endeavors,
Issue Date: Dec/Jan 2002, Professional Mariner, A shining light in our darkest hour, by Richard O. Aichele
Last modified: August 14, 2002, HarborHeroes.org, List of 9/11 Rescue Boats,
September 6 2002, Chicago Sun-Times,Media ignored calm amid the 9/11 chaos, by Andrew Greeley,
September 26, 2002, Suburban Emergency Management Project (SEMP) Biot #23: "Who Was in Charge of the Massive Evacuation of Lower Manhattan?" [Biot #23 missing from Biot index]
September 2002, Who Was in Charge of the Massive Evacuation of Lower Manhattan By Water Transport on 9/11? No One Was, Yet it was an Extremely Successful Operation. Implications? by James Kendra, T. Wachtendorf and E. L. Quarantelli,
December 1, 2002, All Available Boats: The Evacuation of Manhattan Island on September 11, 2001, Edited by Mike Magee, MD, Spencer Books, 140 pages.
June 30, 2009, A&E Home Video, Fireboats of 9/11
September 8, 2011, Eyepop Productions, Boatlift, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience, narrated by Tom Hanks, film; 11:57 minutes,
October 4, 2011, alisonbate.ca, My 9/11 rescue and survivor stories reprinted,
Harbor Heroes.org Mission,
HarborHeroes.org Donations,
HarborHeroes.org Web Archive

[no date] Moran Tugs, Moran Crews Cited for 9/11 Evacuation Endeavors,

Crewmembers from 11 of Moran’s New York tugs were among many maritime workers who received awards recently for their efforts in evacuating hundreds of thousands of people after the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

Sixty-five Moran crewmembers were among about 800 people, from many organizations, who were honored at the U.S. Transportation Department’s “9/11 Maritime Medal Awards” ceremony held in September at the World Financial Center.

In the chaos following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of lower Manhattan, many of them seeking a way to escape from Manhattan Island by boat. Even before the U.S. Coast Guard put out a radio call for “All available boats,” Moran tugs were among dozens of workboats of all types and sizes that arrived on the scene, nose into the seawall, ready to take on passengers.

“I was very proud of our people,” said Peter Keyes, Moran’s vice president in charge of New York operations. “But in the end, I would never have expected them to handle the situation any other way. They are always there when you need them.” Keyes, who was on hand to direct the tugs throughout the post-attack period, accepted the awards for Moran at the ceremony.

It is reported that as many as 300,000 people were evacuated from lower Manhattan during an eight hour period following the attacks. When the evacuation first began, Moran had 11 tugs on the scene, each taking as many as 100 people to designated sites around the port, and to New Jersey. “After the initial surge of evacuation, we went down to about five boats on the scene, still working around the clock, and after four or five days we still had two boats working there at the end,” said Keyes. “As soon as the people were taken off, the boats were used for moving emergency crews, equipment and supplies.”

Moran tugs logged a total of 256 hours during the operation, according to Keyes. The tug Turecamo Boys was on the scene longest, with 84 hours logged, followed by Marie J. Turecamo with 51 hours and Margaret Moran with 49 hours. Other tugs involved with the evacuation were Nancy Moran, Brendan Turecamo, Kathleen Turecamo, Diana Moran, Kimberly Turecamo, Miriam Moran, Turecamo Girls and Catherine Turecamo.

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Glenn A. Wiltshire presided over the awards ceremony which included a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. The transportation secretary also personally handed out awards to company representatives

Last modified: August 14, 2002, HarborHeroes.org, List of 9/11 Rescue Boats,

If you know of a boat that participated in the rescue effort but is missing from the list, please contact John Doswell at John@DoswellProductions.Com. (Missing from this list are numerous NJSP, DEC, etc boats that we haven't identified yet.)
ABC-1, Reynolds Shipyard, Tug Boat
Abraham Lincoln, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Adriatic Sea, K-Sea Transportation Corp, Tug Boat
Alexander Hamilton, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
American Legion, New York City Department of Transportation, Ferry Boat
Barbara Miller, Miller's Launch, Tug Boat
Barker Boys, Barker Marine Ltd., Tug Boat
Bergen Point, Ken's Marine, Tug Boat
Bernadette, Hudson River Park Trust, Work Boat
BLUE THUNDER, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Sportfisherman
Bravest, NY Fast Ferry, Ferry Boat
Brendan Turecamo, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Bruce A. McAllister, McAllister Towing & Transportation, Tug Boat
Capt. John, John Connell, Unknown
Captain Dann, Dann Ocean Towing, Tug Boat
Catherine Turecamo, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Chelsea Screamer, Kennedy Engine Company, Inc,, Sightseeing Vessel
Chesapeake, Unknown , Unknown
Christopher Columbus, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Circle Line VIII, Circle Line/World Yacht, Sightseeing Vessel
Circle Line XI, Circle Line/World Yacht, Sightseeing Vessel
Circle Line XII, Circle Line/World Yacht, Sightseeing Vessel
Circle Line XV, Circle Line/World Yacht, Sightseeing Vessel
Circle Line XVI, Circle Line/World Yacht, Sightseeing Vessel
Coral Sea, K-Sea Transportation Corp., Tug Boat
Diana Moran, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
DOTTIE J, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Sportfisherman
Driftmaster, US Army Corps of Engineers, Skimmer
Eileen McAllister, McAllister Towing & Transportation, Tug Boat
Elizabeth Weeks, Weeks Marine Inc, Tug Boat
Emily Miller, Miller's Launch, Tug Boat
Empire State, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Excaliber, VIP Yacht Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Finest, NY Fast Ferry., Ferry Boat
Fiorello La Guardia, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Firefighter, FDNY , Fireboat
Frank Sinatra, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Franklin Reinauer, Reinauer Transportation Company, Tug Boat
Garden State, NY Waterway , Ferry Boat
Gelberman, US Army Corps of Engineers, Work Vessel
George Washington, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Giovanni Da Verrazano, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, New York City Department of Transportation, Ferry Boat
GROWLER, United States Merchant Marine Academy, USCG Tug
Gulf Guardian, Skaugen Petro Trans Inc., Tug Boat
Hatton, US Army Corps of Engineers, Work Vessel
Haywood, US Army Corps of Engineers, Work Vessel
Henry Hudson, NY Waterway , Ferry Boat
Horizon, VIP Yacht Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Hurricane I, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Utility
Hurricane II, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Utility
JC, Unknown , Unknown
John D. McKean, FDNY, Fireboat
John F. Kennedy, New York City Department of Transportation, Ferry Boat
John J. Harvey, John J. Harvey, Ltd, retired FDNY fireboat
John Jay, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
John Reinauer, Reinauer Transportation Company, Tug Boat
Kathleen Turecamo, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Kathleen Weeks, Weeks Marine Inc, Tug Boat
Kevin Kane, FDNY , Fireboat
Kimberley Turecamo, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Lady, Ron Santee, Unknown
Lexington, Lexington Classic Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Little Lady, Steven G. Park, Unknown
Margaret Moran, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Marie J. Turecamo, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Mariner III, Kennedy Engine Company, Inc, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Mary Alice, DonJon Marine Co. Inc, Tug Boat
Mary Gellately, Gellately Petroleum and Towing, Tug Boat
Mary L. McAllister, McAllister Towing & Transportation, Tug Boat
Maryland, K-Sea Transportation Corp, Tug Boat
MAVERICK, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Pilot Launch
McAllister Sisters, McAllister Towing & Transportation, Tug Boat
Miller Girls, Miller's Launch , Tug Boat
Miriam Moran, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Miss Circle Line, Circle Line - Statue of Liberty Ferry, Inc, Sightseeing Vessel
Miss Ellis Island, Circle Line - Statue of Liberty Ferry, Inc, Sightseeing Vessel
Nancy Moran, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
New Jersey, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Ocean Explorer, Unknown, Unknown
Odin, K-Sea Transportation Corp, Tug Boat
Newhouse, Ferry Boat (click for photos)
Paul Andrew, DonJon Marine Co. Inc, Tug Boat
Penn II, Penn Maritime, Tug Boat
Peter Gellately, Gellately Petroleum and Towing, Tug Boat
Pilot Boat New York, Sandy Hook Pilots Assn., Pilot Boat
POSEIDON, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Patrol
Potomac, Unknown , Unknown
Powhatten, DonJon Marine Co. Inc, Tug Boat
Queen of Hearts, Promoceans / Affairs Afloat Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Resolute, McAllister Towing & Transportation, Tug Boat
Robert Fulton, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Robert Livingston, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Romantica, VIP Yacht Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Royal Princess, VIP Yacht Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Safety III, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Utility
Safety IV, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Utility
Samantha Miller, Miller's Launch, Tug Boat
Sandy G, UTV Warren George, Inc., Unknown
Sassacus, Fox Navigation, Ferry Boat
Sea Service, Leevac Marine, Tug Boat
Seastreak Brooklyn, SeaStreak America, Inc., Ferry Boat
Seastreak Liberty, SeaStreak America, Inc., Ferry Boat
SeaStreak Manhattan, SeaStreak America, Inc., Ferry Boat
Seastreak New York, SeaStreak America, Inc., Ferry Boat
Spartan Service, Leevac Marine, Tug Boat
Spirit of New Jersey, Spirit Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Spirit of New York, Spirit Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Spirit of the Hudson, Spirit Cruises, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
Stapleton Service, Leevac Marine, Tug Boat
Star, Promoceans / Affairs Afloat, Dinner/Cruise Vessel
STORM, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Search & Rescue
Susan Miller, Miller's Launch, Tug Boat
Tatobam, Fox Navigation, Ferry Boat
Taurus, K-Sea Transportation Corp, Tug Boat
Tender for Tugboat Bertha, Darren Vigilant, motor boat
Theodore Roosevelt, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Turecamo Boys, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Turecamo Girls, Moran Towing Corp., Tug Boat
Twin Tube, Reynolds Shipyard, Tug Boat
USCGC Katherine Walker, USCG, Cutter
USCGC Ridley, USCG, Cutter
USCGC Tahoma, USCG, Cutter
Various DEC boats, DEC, Work Boats
Various NYPD Harbor Unit boats, NYPD, Police Boats
Various other vessels, Unknown, Unknown
Virginia Weeks, Weeks Marine Inc, Tug Boat
Vivian Roehrig, C & R Harbor Towing, Tug Boat
West New York, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Whaleboat Bayleen, Pegasus Restoration Project, Historic whaleboat
WINGS OF THE MORNING, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Utility
Yogi Berra, NY Waterway, Ferry Boat
Copyright © 2002, New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, Inc. Last modified: August 14, 2002

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September 26, 2002, Suburban Emergency Management Project (SEMP) Biot #23: "Who Was in Charge of the Massive Evacuation of Lower Manhattan?" [Biot #23 missing from Biot index]

Date posted: Thurs, 26 Sept 2002

This wonderful research note was written by Dr. Enrico Quarantelli and his colleagues at Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. Please take time to read it and share it with others. In his email Dr. Quarantelli wrote:

Dr. O'Leary:

I finally have finished along with several DRC colleagues a research note On the remarkable evacuation by water transport of about half a million persons from lower Manhattan on 9/11. It is almost a classic case of a mostly decentralized happening on a large scale with pluralistic decision making on a vast scale and with no one in any sense being in charge. This is kind of emergent behavior that should be expected and to a certain degree can be partly preplanned, instead of trying to implement a command and control model.

I realize that this research note may be too long for your use. Also, while the description is mostly about evacuation behavior, we try in the last paragraph to suggest the kind of questions that crisis planners and managers in the medical/hospital area might ask as they try to extrapolate from the emergent evacuation to the kinds of new problems that hospital/medical problems that a bioterroristic attack might have to address…

… The best to you. Henry


September 2002, Who Was in Charge of the Massive Evacuation of Lower Manhattan By Water Transport on 9/11? No One Was, Yet it was an Extremely Successful Operation. Implications? by James Kendra, T. Wachtendorf and E. L. Quarantelli,

Hospital and medical personnel responsible for crisis planning and managing for their institutions can of course learn how to best prepare by looking at how their counterpart organizations elsewhere have responded to typical crises. However, in the case of unusual, or perhaps just potential rather than actual kinds of new crises, this may not be possible. However, what happened on 9/11 at the World Trade Center in New York City, given the magnitude of the crisis and the newness of the crisis, might provide some clues. We select one major happening on 9/11 that we think can be very instructive for anyone that has to "think outside of the box" with respect to disaster planning and management.

In 2001, it was estimated that 2.2 million commuters were in New York City on a normal working day. With the collapse of the second World Trade Center tower on 9/11, hundreds of thousands of such commuters, as well as other workers, residents and transients in the area, were mostly blocked off from leaving by the usual land routes. Streets around the impacted zone were debris-clogged and public transportation had ceased operations. Given the polluted and suffocating air, these people retreated south, many as far as the sea walls at the tip of Manhattan. At around 11 a.m. there began a massive evacuation by a large number of boats and vessels that had converged on the sea walls and a few docks in the area. The everyday ferries, tour and dinner boats, and private pleasure craft that normally carry passengers, were joined by far more numerous vessels such as tugs, outboard runabouts, pilot boats, and oil spill response vessels, a Coast Guard cutter and even a retired fire boat, that were never intended to carry passengers.

Part of the massive convergence was triggered by a call issued by the local Coast Guard on VHF 13 and 16 after the collapse of the second tower. It requested anyone with a vessel in the area to go to the shoreline of lower Manhattan, but it appears much of the convergence resulted from personal observations or knowledge that an evacuation by water craft was possible or being attempted. The Coast Guard, which swiftly responded to the attack by establishing a security cordon around lower Manhattan, did notify entities such as ferries with which it had regular everyday contacts that safety and accident rules and regulations need not be strictly followed. But on the basis of what some operators reported about their involvement, it seems that many of the converging vessels had little direct interaction with the Coast Guard that day.

There were some spectacular photos and films of the evacuation, a few taken from afar and providing a bird's eye view of what was happening. They show thousands of civilians waiting calmly in line and helping one another to climb down into craft of all sizes and shapes hovering at the base of high sea walls (as well as a few cases of vessels at docking facilities). As some have commented who know about World War II, the scene was reminiscent of the evacuation of more than 300,000 British and French soldiers at Dunkirk. In that situation, there was a similarly massive but unorganized convergence of an armada of big and little craft operating mostly on their own.

While some preimpact thought had been given to evacuation in bridges and tunnels around Manhattan, there had been no planning for this scale and kind of organizational activity. No group had such an activity as a central part of their disaster planning. No organization or official was in complete charge of the overall emergent evacuation activities. Who went where, where evacuees were disembarked in New Jersey or Staten Island, and how long any vessel operated, were very often decisions made independently by the multiple operators of different vessels who had little direct communication with one another or agencies elsewhere. The Coast Guard did suggest some tugs go to particular docks in lower Manhattan, but this was an atypical guidance effort in the situation, especially in the early stages. The larger number of vessels from the private sector operated intermixed with public organizations. This required informal cooperation to avoid collisions and taking turns in picking up evacuees, since no overall control of the water traffic could have been imposed. However, when the vessel traffic at certain localities became very heavy, it was a port captain of a major private shipping company on his own initiative who informally took over as an unofficial waterfront coordinator in one part of the bay (there apparently was another similar occurrence in another part of the waterfront).

By any criteria, the evacuation, one of the largest ever in American history, was an extremely successful endeavor. There appears to have been no fatalities or casualties in the operation; no vessel was involved in any accident. In the course of about six-seven hours, according to the Coast Guard, perhaps up to 500,000 persons were moved. Later estimates have sometimes reduced the figure to around 300,000. Both seem reasonable given that one ferry company alone did count transporting 158,502 evacuees. Estimates that perhaps one million persons were evacuated, while still cited to this day, do not seem to be reasonable (but do indicate that no organization had much overall control of or knowledge about the operation as it proceeded). However, even the lowest overall estimate is an impressive figure.

It is difficult to see how the overall evacuation effort could have been different in any way in the positive sense. What could have been done that would have been more effective in attaining the implicit collective goal of transporting the evacuees from Manhattan? In fact, on the basis of our knowledge of how disaster planning is frequently resisted, we can say that any attempt to preplan such an evacuation would have immediately been met with objections such as: e.g., 70 persons cannot be put on a boat authorized to carry only 40 persons or on one not built to carry passengers; people cannot be picked up at high sea walls because potential evacuees will panic or fight one another to get on approaching boats; or, ignoring everyday marine and port rules and regulations will create potential lawsuits. Fortunately, in the actual crisis of 9/11, people and groups rose to the occasion, doing what needed to be done to cope with new and unexpected problems.

The emergent evacuation behavior was in a very important sense rather familiar to veteran disaster researchers. Many of the specifics and to some extent the magnitude of the evacuation could not have been well forecast. But the overall major social characteristics and general patterns of the evacuation were very predicable. Studies of evacuation at times of crises have now been undertaken for the last 50 years. They have consistently shown that at times of great crises, much of the organized behavior is emergent rather than traditional. In addition, it is of a very decentralized nature, with the dominance of pluralistic decision making, and the appearance of imaginative and innovative new attempts to cope with the contingencies that typically appear in major disasters. Fortunately on 9/11 no attempts were made to impose a command and control model (Dynes described its features in previous communications) on the evacuation by water transport from lower Manhattan.

In passing, we should note that there were two nearly concurrent activities on 9/11 at the World Trade Center which also showed the social patterns that disaster researchers would have expected. One was the largely successful evacuation of the surviving occupants of the towers and surrounding buildings. The other was the initial (but not the later) search and rescue undertaken right after the collapse of the second tower. Neither activity was controlled by anyone. Instead, in both responses to the crisis, there were many emergent features, actions of a non traditional nature. The individuals and small groups involved showed considerable flexibility and initiative in dealing with the drastic challenges that the massive physical destruction created for survivors.

What has been described is no argument at all against pre-impact disaster planning. In fact, to researchers just the opposite is clearly indicated. This is that good preplanning should explicitly indicate to any organization which might become involved at the emergency time period of a disaster that command and control models will not work. Instead there should be an acceptance of the fact that things can be done to encourage group and individual responses that make sense in the crisis. Just making crisis planners conscious of the fact that there will be considerable emergence of new behaviors and decentralization of decision making will discourage trying the impossible and will facilitate realistic disaster management. Acting on wrong assumptions can be totally dysfunctional for good planning and managing.

The Coast Guard has far more legal authority over New York harbor than most organizations have over the territories in which they operate. But this organization, intelligently, made no effort to take over the evacuation which had primarily started on its own. Instead it provided as much relevant information as it could to facilitate as much as possible the new decentralized behavior marked by pluralistic decision making that emerged. The Coast Guard essentially played a supportive rather than a directive role. In this instance, the specific reasons as to why the Coast Guard demonstrated such appropriate and laudable behavior are being studied, but at the very least what happened shows that even organizations used to operating in a highly structured framework can change their operations to better adapt to a very new kind of major crisis.

Anyone involved in the medical/hospital area might consider the implications of what we have described happened on 9/11? What might be rather unexpected problems in these areas in a major disaster? What sort of crises may particularly require new kinds of organized responses? What sort of non-traditional resources (people and/or things) might be potentially available for emergence? What preplanned steps might be taken to facilitate such new organized behavior as might emerge? How can pluralistic decision making be made effective in new kinds of crises? What traditional or standard crisis management procedures or structures might not be very effective for new kinds of crises? We think that if medical and hospital personnel consider some of the happenings in New York City, they will be able to generate answers to these questions and other relevant questions that will be very helpful in crisis planning and managing. Of course for that to occur, they will have to think “outside of the traditional box.”


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October, 2001, Marine Digest, Armada Rescues Trapped New Yorkersby Alison Bate,

A difficult yet "shining hour for the maritime community,"

New York pilot boat off lower Manhanttan on Sept. 11, 2001.

New Yorkers await evacuation at Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan, after the World Trade Centers collapsed September 11.

An armada of tugboats, ferries and small craft came to the rescue of hundreds of thousands of trapped New Yorkers last month.

They ferried survivors to safety. They helped bring out bodies. They brought hot food for the workers, and now they are at work helping to clear the rubble.

The U.S. Coast Guard was full of praise for all the mariners involved. It estimated nearly one million people were evacuated by sea.

Lt. Michael Day from Coast Guard Activities New York was on board the pilot boat New York helping coordinate the mass evacuation.

“It was a shining hour for the maritime community,” said Day, chief of the Waterways Oversight branch. “They did a remarkable job.”

Calling all workboats

On Tuesday Sept.11, two hijacked jetliners flew into the World Trade Center towers in a terrorist attack.

The U.S.C.G. put out a distress call for all tugs and small craft in the area to respond.

Nobody could get off lower Manhattan and survivors were fleeing down to the waterfront.

When the call came, Ken Peterson was on Staten Island, about half an hour across the water.

Peterson, port captain at Reinauer Transportation, sent four tugboats over and hopped on board the Franklin Reinauer.

As they headed across, billows of smoke streamed from the World Trade Center towers.

When they arrived at Battery Park Pier, about 12 other tugboats were circling around, waiting for instructions.

Peterson took the bull by the horns and became the unofficial waterfront coordinator that memorable day. Glen Miller, from Miller’s Launch, and NY/NJ pilot Andrew McGovern joined in organising the impromptu fleet.

Twenty-seven tugboats picked up 3,300 people from lower Manhattan that Tuesday, ferrying them in small batches to safety.

The Staten Island ferries, commuter boats and dinner boats were also kept busy with the survivors.

“They were dusty and bloodied,” said Peterson. “Some people had lost their homes completely, and didn’t know where to go.”

Peterson walked up to Ground Zero and talked with the rescue crews. “The faces of the people... they were just tired and determined to find people alive.”

For the next four days, the team of tugboats evacuated people from Battery Point, from Pier 11 and from North Cove Marina.

As time went on they became more organized, handing out sheets and blankets and setting up signs for different destinations.

6,000 people ferried to safety; variety of roles played

Peterson estimated up to 6,000 people were ferried to safety by tugboats in the four days that followed the attacks.

Moran Towing, which had nine tugboats working in the harbor that Tuesday, was heavily involved.

“Most of them were covered with soot, but like most New Yorkers, they were a courageous lot,” said Moran president Greg McGinty of the survivors.

At one stage they agreed to ferry bodies to temporary morgues on Staten Island.

“We asked the guys, as it’s a hard job,” said McGinty. As it turned out, there were very few bodies, and they only made one run.

Sanitation scows were also shuttled back and forth, moving rubble from the devastated area.

McGinty downplayed their role. “We didn’t do anything much. The firemen and the police department here have been so incredible. I’m very proud of being an American.”

Other companies at the scene included Donjon Marine, K-Sea Transportation, Buchanan Marine, Roehrig Transportation, Dann Towing, Ken’s Marine Service, Leevac Marine, the tug Vulcan, and the New Jersey fishing boat Captain John.

Spill response vessels involved included Miller’s, the NRC Guardian, and the New Jersey Responder.

Peterson said everyone was willing to help - whatever the role. There were no toilet facilities on the island, and the New Jersey Responder became the main “head” boat, until porta-potties arrived.

He said just knowing the boats were out on the water was a source of comfort to many relief workers.

On Thursday, 11 tugboats were kept busy when part of a building collapsed and everyone rushed to the waterfront. “We had 250 people there within five minutes,” said Peterson. The boats were also used to deliver hot meals to rescue workers.

McDonald’s gave over 2,000 hamburgers and french fries and the Outback Steak House began making hamburgers on the dock.

“We basically made a tent city right at the south wall,” said Peterson.

On Friday, the military moved in and the atmosphere changed. Only official rescue workers were allowed into the security zone.

The tired teams of vessel operators were finally relieved by the U.S.C.G. at 2100 hours Friday night.

Their duties were taken over by the Army Corps of Engineers, New York and New Jersey State Police and New York City fireboats.

View from the USCG

At Vessel Traffic Services New York, junior grade Lt. Bob Post had been on duty for about three hours when the first plane hit the north tower.

The USCG has cameras throughout the port, so they focussed in on the building.

When the second plane crashed, officers realized this wasn't just an accident.

The U.S.C.G. started closing the port and began setting up a security zone over the Battery and Statue of Liberty.

Search and rescue units were called out and the cutters Katherine Walker and Hawser headed for the lower Manhattan area.

“It was pretty hectic at the beginning,” said Post, based on Staten Island.

Four USCG officers went on board the pilot boat New York to help coordinate activities, among them Lt. Day.

Day had worked at the New York Port Authority offices in the World Trade Center for six months, so the attacks were very much a personal issue for him.

“I found it very cathartic to be part of that relief effort,” he said.

As time went on, the main relief effort involved getting not just people but supplies back and forth across the water.

“It was incredible what was accomplished,” Day added.

When fire trucks started running out of fuel, they used fuel from the tugs to keep the trucks going.

On Thursday, welders sorting through the debris were running low on acetylene for their cutting torches.

New Jersey was called, and bottles started coming over again - all by water.

When there were problems distributing food to rescue workers, someone in the maritime community called John Deere’s directly.

Shortly afterward, ten ATVs (allterrain vehicles) were being escorted by police across two states to lower Manhattan.

At the time of this writing, trucks and barges continue the daunting task of moving mountains of debris. Weeks Marine is carrying out emergency dredging to create a channel to allow sanitation barges access to the devastated areas.

The mass evacuation may be over, but the vessel operators are unlikely to forget that memorable week.

As Reinauer’s Ken Peterson said: "We're glad we were all able to help."

October 4, 2011, alisonbate.ca, My 9/11 rescue and survivor stories reprinted,

Two articles I wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre have just been reprinted in a 10-year retrospective.

The first one, Armada rescues trapped New Yorkers, was based on extensive phone interviews with tugboat owners with Reinauer Transportation and Moran Towing, as well as officials with U.S. Coast Guard Activities New York and Vessel Traffic Services New York.

The second article Escape from the 91st Floor followed an interview with Claire McIntyre – a staffer with the American Bureau of Shipping – and described her dramatic escape from the north tower of the World Trade Centre.

Both articles were printed in Seattle-based Marine Digest magazine, a magazine I edited at one time, which has since changed its name to Cargo Business News. The articles can also be found here.

The tugboat Kathleen Turecamo rescues people from Lower Manhattan (Penn Maritime photo)

Related 9/11 boat rescue links:
* List of 9/11 Rescue Boats
* Moran Crews Cited for 9/11 Evacuation Endeavors (Sep. 2005)
*Who Was in Charge of the Massive Evacuation of Lower Manhattan By Water Transport on 9/11? (Sep.2002)

© Alison Bate, 2011

Julie H. Ferguson on October 5, 2011 at 2:24 am said:

admin on October 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

Thanks Julie. I wrote these articles in the week immediately after 9/11, and they were published in October 2001. So I was slightly amused to see the title of the new video narrated by Tom Hanks – BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOrzF7B2Kg).

It’s always interesting to look back on stories written in the heat of the moment. In my original Armada story, I used the U.S. Coast Guard’s estimate of 1 million people evacuated by water from Lower Manhattan that day. Ten years on, no one still seems to know the exact numbers. However, the numbers evacuated are now thought to be more like 300,000 to 500,000. Still an impressive number, though, and one of the largest ever in U.S. history. Ferries carried the bulk of the evacuees.

Re-reading the stories also reminded me how hard it is write about any tragic event without glorifying war or inciting extreme patriotism.

As for the second story, it’s sometimes the trivial things that stick in my mind. Claire told me the dramatic story of how she ran down 91 flights of steps in the North Tower with her colleagues. And for years afterward, whenever I was in the gym, I’d make sure I climbed the equivalent of 91 floors on the Stairmaster – to make sure I would be fit enough to escape a similar disaster. Illogical, really, as what are the odds of anything like this happening in exactly the same way again? But it’s how I remember the escape from the twin towers.

September 8, 2011, Eyepop Productions, Boatlift, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience, narrated by Tom Hanks, film; 11:57 minutes,

Tom Hanks narrates the epic story of the 9/11 boatlift that evacuated half a million people from the stricken piers and seawalls of Lower Manhattan. Produced and directed by Eddie Rosenstein. Eyepop Productions, Inc.

BOATLIFT was executive produced by Stephen Flynn and Sean Burke and premiered on September 8th at the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Summit: Remembrance/Renewal/Resilience in Washington. The Summit kicked off a national movement to foster community and national resilience in the face of future crises. See www.road2resilience.org to become a part of the campaign to build a more resilient world. The film was made with the generous support by philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, Chairman Emerita, TotalBank (www.arsht.com)

Retired Fireboat Harvey Helps With World Trade Center Disaster


Photo Courtesy Huntley Gill/ NYFD.Com

On the morning of Tuesday the 11th, Chase Welles, Chief Engineer Tim Ivory, Tomas Cavallaro, Andrew Furber and I met spontaneously at John J. Harvey and took her south from Pier 63 to help at the World Trade Center.

We joined tugs and ferries evacuating a trapped crowd from the sea wall near the Battery, taking some 150 people north to Pier 40.

En route, the Fire Department radioed a request that we drop our passengers as quickly as possible and tie up adjacent to the site to provide pumping capacity since hydrants were not working.

Photo Courtesy Huntley Gill/ NYFD.Com

FDNY designated Harvey Marine Company Two and assigned an officer. We joined NYFD boats Fire Fighter and McKean on the sea-wall to provide the only water available at the site.

Joined on Wednesday by Pilot Bob Lenney (NYFD ret) and Assistant Engineer Jessica DuLong, who provided welcome relief (and remained on board without it themselves), Harvey worked non-stop at the site until last night (Friday) after hydrants had been restored and she was at last sent home.

Countless friends and supporters made Harvey their base for volunteering in the emergency, working on shore on clean-up, rescue work and organization.

Andrew Furber worked as a welder through the Tuesday night cutting people and remains out of emergency vehicles, and later cutting steel that had been WTC 2.

Photo Courtesy Huntley Gill/NYFD.Com

Jeanne Preece and John Doswell wielded fire hose most of the day Wednesday to provide the only area at the site which was not covered by 2 inches of a horrible, ubiquitous choking dust; this area then became the main supply center for the emergency.

Darren Vigilant provided regular ferry service to and from Pier 63 in his go-fast boat; John Krevey provided food, beverages and regular, unstinting support.

Captain Pamela Hepburn organized the deck and set up the lines (secured to trees for lack of cleats) with quick-release toggles. (Both John and Pamela's families are homeless as their apartments are adjacent to the site.)

Photo Courtesy Huntley Gill/NYFD.Com

Many others, too numerous to name, pitched in without hesitation.

Remarkably, John J. Harvey turns 70 in 21 days. Supporters of John J. Harvey should be proud that this great old lady was saved to work for our City in crisis.

John J. Harvey Fireboat Web Site
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The Little Fireboat That Did
September 27, Time Out

Old Savior of the Waterfront Is Pressed Back Into Service
September 23, New York Times

Historic Fireboat Aids in Response and Recovery
September 21, National Register of Historic Places

Retired Fireboat Harvey Helps With World Trade Center Disaster
September 17, firehouse.com

Publication Date: December 1, 2002, All Available Boats: The Evacuation of Manhattan Island on September 11, 2001, Edited by Mike Magee, MD, Spencer Books, 140 pages.

Related Links
Transom Shows: All Available Boats
... All Available Boats: Harbor Voices from 9/11 Produced by David Tarnow
South Street Seaport Museum:
fireboat.org - John J. Harvey, Ltd.- fireboat - John J. Harvey,
All Available Boats The Evacuation of Manhattan Island on September 11,
2001. ...140 pages, 8" X 8" soft bound.

Harbor Heroes.org Mission 
Manhattan is an island...

On September 11, 2001, well over half a million people - including over 2,000 injured - were evacuated from Manhattan Island by an improvised rescue fleet of ferryboats, tugs, coast guard ships and commercial, recreational and government craft of all shapes and sizes.

One of the largest and most successful maritime rescue operations in history, it was carried out in a matter of hours without fanfare or even acknowledgement by the news media.


is working to gatherrelevant photos, videos, and personal recollections in order to create a comprehensive, museum-quality, web-based archive of this historically important, yet mostly unheralded demonstration of courage, skill and cooperation that took place on the waters around Manhattan on September 11th. Your support is needed to make this dream a reality. Thank you.

- Ken McCarthy, Director of HarborHeroes.org

Enter the HarborHeroes.org Web Archive

Do you have photographic or video images of the September 11 maritime of evacuation of Manhattan?

If you'd like to share them and see them on this site, please write the webmaster atwebmaster@harborheroes.org

HarborHeroes.org Donations,

The original 'Dunkirk Miracle' involved the evacuation of 338,000 British and French soldiers from the beaches of northern France and was accomplished by more than 800 civilian boats and 220 navy vessels. It took ten days from May 26 - June 4, 1940 to accomplish this feat.

Sixty one years later, the New York Harbor maritime community evacuated over 500,000 workers and residents from Manhattan Island in the chaotic twelve hours immediately following the September 11th surprise attack on the World Trade Center.

In contrast with England, where to this day the gallant service of those involved in the original Dunkirk evacuation is commemorated annually, America's own Dunkirk passed unnoticed and unreported (with a few notable exceptions.) Currently, there is a very real risk that this maritime rescue operation of unprecedented scale, and the lessons it can teach future generations, will fade from memory and not find its rightful place in the historical record.

HarborHeroes.org intends to change this.

If you were one of the hundreds of thousands of people evacuated by boat from Manhattan on September 11 or you've been moved by this account, we invite you to visit the retired FDNY fireboat the John J. Harvey and consider contributing to its restoration. Starting September 11 and for four straight days afterwards, the all-volunteer crew of the Harvey pumped much needed water from the Hudson River to help firefighters deal with the immediate aftermath of the attack.www.fireboat.org

September 6 2002, Chicago Sun-Times, Media ignored calm amid the 9/11 chaos, by Andrew Greeley,

On Sept. 11 last year, up to 1 million people were evacuated from Lower Manhattan by water "in an emergent network of private and publicly owned watercraft--a previously unplanned activity." It was an American Dunkirk, like the epic rescue of the British army at Dunkirk in 1940 by an armada of similar craft.

Yet you most likely never saw this astonishing event, reported last month by Professor Kathleen Tierney at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, on television and never read about it in the print media. It would have made for spectacular TV imagery; yet, as an example of calm and sensible and spontaneous action, it did not fit the media image of panic, an image that will doubtless be re-enacted next week.

Tierney, director of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, argued that the reaction of people at the World Trade Center was what one might have expected from the research literature of the last 50 years on behavior in disaster situations. ''Social bonds remained intact and the sense of responsibility to others--family members, friends, fellow workers, neighbors and even total strangers remains strong. . . . People sought information from one another, made inquiries and spoke with loved ones via cell phones, engaged in collective decision-making and helped one another to safety. When the towers were evacuated, the evacuation was carried out in a calm and orderly manner.''

There is growing research literature that Tierney cites that leaves little doubt about this description. (See also Lee Clarke's article in the current issue of the new sociological journal Contexts.) Many will not believe that the scenario could possibly be true. Doesn't everyone know that there is panic in disaster situations? Don't people become frightened, selfish and flee in headlong panic?

The answer is no, they don't. The proof that this was not true on Sept. 11 is to be found in the fact that 90 percent of the people in the World Trade Center escaped--which would have been impossible had people panicked. Most people are cool under such pressure. Their old social networks do not dissolve, and new social networks emerge. The paradigm of humankind as a mob simply isn't true. We are social animals, and even when terribly frightened we remain social animals.

Note that most of the positive social behavior that saved so many lives was not organized by any formal agency, much less by any command-and-control mechanism. People saved themselves. Other people converged from all over the city to help. As Tierney says, "The response to the Sept. 11 tragedy was so effective precisely because it was not centrally directed and controlled. Instead it was flexible, adaptive and focused on handling problems as they emerged."

In some sense, Sept. 11 was a victory over the terrorists. Socially responsible free Americans prevented the loss from being much worse. Yet, the response of the planning agencies has been to establish more and more elaborate command-and-control structures, which will force a population that is not about to panic into panic behavior.

Says Tierney: "When Sept. 11 demonstrated the enormous resilience in our civil society, why is disaster response now being characterized in militaristic terms?" Perhaps because those who are determined to control everything don't understand that even in military situations, it's the second lieutenants and the sergeants who win battles, as, for example, in the Omaha Beach chaos at Normandy.

Generals sitting in faraway bunkers cannot control battles. Neither can bureaucrats far from the scene of tragedy, no matter how elaborate their plans.

The media got the story all wrong because the panic paradigm is still pervasive and because no one in the media had read the disaster-research literature. They thus reinforced the propensity of those running the country not to trust the good sense and social concern of ordinary folk. Rather, they want to control everything with such ditsy ideas as the proposed Homeland Security Department. That plan would take union and civil service protections away from government workers and accomplish little else.

You can count on it: In the orgy of self-pity in which the media will engage next week, no one will pay any attention to why there was no panic in the evacuation, much less to the American Dunkirk at the lower end of Manhattan. Nor will anyone argue that the only kind of formal plan that will work in similar situations is one that is sensitive to and ready to integrate with the powerful social propensity of the human species.

DVD Release Date: June 30, 2009, A&E Home Video, Fireboats of 9/11, (2009) (DVD)

Many heroes emerged on 9/11, but none stood taller and braver than the officers of the New York City Fire Department s Marine Division, home to the world s most famous fireboats.

Combining archival materials with contemporary footage and state-of-the-art animation, FIREBOATS OF 9/11 takes viewers behind the scenes of the famed NYC Fire Department Marine Division, documenting their incredible courage and effectiveness on September 11, 2001, as well as their long and exemplary history of safeguarding lives and property along New York s waterfront.

Through candid interviews, a detailed history of the Marine Division and its ships, and a comprehensive account of the fireboat response to the calamities of 9/11, FIREBOATS OF 9/11 chronicles the people and vessels that helped America through one of its darkest hours.

Two digital photos taken the same day abord the Fireboat John J. Harvey and stiched together using Photoshop.
Photos taken August 2001 by Webmaster Don

Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency By James Bamford, Doubleday, 2002,

A Pretext For War: 9/11, Iraq, And The Abuse Of America's Intelligence Agencies By James Bamford, Random House, 2004,

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