Coast Guardsmen Honored at Annual Mariner Awards Dinner

(Left to right) Mariner Award winner Pat O’Hern and U.S. Coast Guard Person of the Year Petty Officer Matthew Hunt at the recent Mariner Awards Dinner. Submitted photo.

Fourteen iconic figures in the rich maritime history of the Door Peninsula and three local Coast Guardsmen were honored at the annual Mariner Award Dinner held at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club on Aug. 3. The Mariner Award is presented annually to recognize individuals who have had significant, positive and lasting impact on the Door County maritime community. One living and at least one deceased recipient are honored each year. The nominees for this year’s Mariner Award were Steve Brunstrom, Pat Haggerty, Joseph Harris Jr., Clifford B. Hart, Mike Kelsey Sr., Pat O’Hern, Bill Parsons, Dick Purinton, John Purves, August Rieboldt, William “Curly” Selvick, Leathem “Tim” Stearn, Alanson Sweet and Todd Thayse. The 2014 Mariner Award went to Pat O’Hern, the former vice president and general manager at Bay Shipbuilding. O’Hern was instrumental in the planning, estimating, pricing, selling, marketing and the execution of several key projects at Bay Ship.

Posthumous honors went to local maritime legends John H. Purves, Pat Haggerty and Mike Kelsey Sr. Purves.

Nominees for the Sturgeon Bay area Coast Guard Person of the Year were also honored at the dinner. The nominees for this year’s award were Petty Officer Matthew Hunt who is stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, Petty Officer A. R. Weiss from the Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay and Petty Officer Russell Pool from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Sturgeon Bay. O’Hern was presented the Mariner Award trophy, a handcrafted original work by noted local woodcarver David Frykman. Petty Officer Hunt, who distinguished himself as a certified master helmsman and Quarter Master of the Watch, was this year’s Coast Guard Person of the Year. Petty Officer Moore received an impressive wooden plaque depicting the Coast Guard Seal.