Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (May 20, 2020) – What started as a maritime salute to local healthcare workers, first responders and other front line staff in the fight against the coronavirus, is on the way to becoming a national event.
Each year on May 22nd, the United States celebrates National Maritime Day. Maritime Day recognizes one of our country’s most important industries and the people our maritime nation depends on.
For National Maritime Day 2020. The Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) staff organized a maritime signal of appreciation for local healthcare workers fighting against the present pandemic. At Noon (Central), the ship’s horn on the restored Museum tugboat John Purves will sound a “Master’s Salute” consisting of three long blasts (:05 each) followed by two short blasts (:02 each), to honor those working the front lines against COVID-19.
The museum, respecting waterways rules, contacted the US Coast Guard stations in Northeast Wisconsin to make them aware of the plan, and see if they would agree to participate as well. The USCG Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, agreed, and will be joined by the retired 41-foot USCG vessel that is part of the Museum’s outdoor artifact collection.
The Door County Maritime Museum approached other groups to ask if they might want to join in the effort and make it a nationwide event. Both the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA) and the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM) agreed to share the information with their memberships. The USS Cobia submarine at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc was one of the first non-local organizations that enthusiastically agreed to participate.
“This is a great opportunity for our maritime community locally and around the country to honor the courageous folks fighting hard against the present pandemic,” said DCMM Executive Director Kevin Osgood.
Private vessels are also welcome to participate in the inner harbor between the Oregon Street and Michigan Street Bridges. The iconic green Sarter Marine Towing tugboat fleet, docked behind the John Purves in Sturgeon Bay, will sound their horns. Sturgeon Bay vessels will be coordinated on VHF radio by Museum tugboat John Purves on marine radio channels 16 and 71. Please be aware of and follow all US Coast Guard regulations.
Every participating vessel is asked to shoot video for social media and share with the hashtag for the overall event – #MaritimeHonors – as well as their own hashtag of choice.