2013 River Bell Awards

Dec 6, 2013

Not enough land-dwellers understand the round-the-clock work that gets gasoline to the pump and grains grown in the Midwest to feed people in South America. Although vital to American commerce, the country’s inland river transportation system seldom receives the attention it deserves. With the goal of uncovering the industry’s yearly successes and recognizing some of its most influential figures, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) hosts the annual River Bell Awards Luncheon on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at the Paducah-McCracken County Convention and Expo Center in Paducah, KY.

This year’s award recipients include an outspoken advocate for the repair of America’s infrastructure of locks and dams; a promoter of artifacts and knowledge of the river system; and the crew of Inland Marine Service’s M/V Richard A. Baker who rescued three adults and two children adrift on the river.

River Bell Award: Rick Calhoun

President of Cargo Carriers, a business of Cargill Inc. and Senior Vice President of Grain & Oilseed Supply Chain North America, Rick Calhoun receives this year’s River Bell Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the inland maritime community. Mr. Calhoun served as Chairman of the Waterways Council, Inc. from 2009 to 2011 and served on the board of directors of MARC2000 prior to its merger with the Waterways Council, Inc. In his leadership roles, he has helped advance the tugboat, towboat and barge industry advocating for safe and efficient marine transportation to US Congress and government officials.

River Legend Award: Captain Clarke C. “Doc” Hawley

During the course of his long river career, Doc Hawley has served as master of three of the five remaining Mississippi River System steamboats. Captain Hawley has spent a lifetime working with passengers and crew on excursion and tourist steamboats promoting river history. His passion for sharing steamboat artifacts and knowledge has helped preserve the memory of the important developments in the marine transportation system from the days of steam-powered vessels.

Lifesaving Award: The Captain and Crew of Inland Marine Service’s M/V Richard A. Baker

On June 12, 2012, the crew of the M/V Richard A. Baker came to the aid of three adults and two children in a small fishing boat drifting toward a fleet of barges. The river current pulled the nose of the rescue boat underwater, throwing the rescuers, Jarvise Shelton and Kyle Hardman, into the water. Mr. Shelton grabbed a rope and pulled himself up, but Mr. Hardman lost his life. The US Coast Guard subsequently presented the pair (Mr. Hardman posthumously) with the Gold Lifesaving Medal for bravery and self-sacrifice. All five members of the fishing boat survived.

For attendance and more information about the event, contact Lisa Yakuboff, SCI’s Special Events Manager at lyakuboff@seamenschurch.org or telephone +1 212-349-9090 ext. 246.