The USS New York, an amphibious transport dock, is tied up at Port Everglades as part of Fort Lauderdale Fleet Week. This ship is a floating memorial to the World Trade Center tragedy. Her bow stem is constructed from 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the demolished buildings.
Also docked there is the CGC Bernard C. Webber, a new Fast Response Cutter, homeported at the Miami Beach Base. Bosun Mate first class Webber and his crew of 3 rescued 32 merchant sailors from their half of a 504-foot tanker.
These heroic Coasties accomplished this feat in a 36-foot motor-lifeboat in 60-foot seas during the blizzard of February 1952. It has a capacity for 12 people.
Two of these World War II tankers had split in half, within 40 miles of each other, off the coast of Chatham, Mass.
I was on another USCG rescue ship (CGC Acushnet) during this rescue operation.
I was honored to speak to Bernie Webber several times before he died in 2009. Unfortunately, this Gold Life Saving Medal winner never got to see his namesake ship speeding out to sea to save mariners in trouble.
The motto of the Webber is: “Determination heeds no interference."
There are no better words to describe Bernard C. Webber.
Sid Morris, West Kendall