SCI-Houston Adds Experienced Instructors to Staff

Mar 3, 2008

The Seamen’s Church Institute announces that Captain Henry E. Cummings and Captain Stephen Polk have joined the teaching staff at the Institute’s simulator training center located in the Port of Houston. Since May of 2001, the SCI – Houston Center staff has provided advanced training for deep-sea, inland, and coastal mariners.

“Captain Cummings and Captain Polk bring unique skills, training, and education as well as real-life experience.” said Eric K. Larsson, Director of SCI’s Maritime Education and Training.

Captain Henry E. Cummings – Instructor, SCI - Houston Center

Prior to joining SCI in January of 2008, Captain Henry Cummings was Senior Port Captain and an Operations Officer at XL Marine in Paducah, KY.    For two years, he was responsible for managing Navigation and Crewing concerns, supervising chemical tows on the Ohio River, and investigating all vessel incidents and reporting findings to management.

He went to XL Marine after seven years at Kirby Inland Marine, LP where he started in 1999 as a training Captain. Three years later, Captain Cummings was promoted to Port Captain and managed the Hot Oil Division by training crews in leadership and piloting skills. At Kirby he investigated all vessel incidents in the up-river regions. His reports included root cause analysis and reviewing corrective action with the crews. He received extensive crises management experience working the Night Vessel Duty desk for over 150 vessels.

Captain Cummings began his maritime career at Chotin Transportation where he served for 23 years as a Training Captain and the installer of their radar program.

A 1976 graduate of the National River Academy, Captain Cummings holds the sixth issuance of his Inland and Western Rivers Operators License. He is certified by the US Coast Guard to teach USCG-approved radar courses offered by SCI – Houston. With over 31 years of maritime experience, Captain Cummings has over 100,000 hours of Underway Command Experience.

Captain Stephen Polk – Instructor, SCI - Houston Center

Before joining SCI, Captain Stephen Polk was a Senior Port Captain for Kirby Inland Marine, LP and managed several types of inland towing vessels in the Canal Division. Captain Polk is a certified Crew Endurance Management System (CEMS) expert and has taught several courses. He holds a third issue of his 3rd Mates unlimited oceans license and earned his Master of Towing Vessel and 300 ton Master- Oceans endorsement on his license.

A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Captain Polk served in the US Navy with two patrol boat units. As a Lieutenant Commander, he held multiple leadership and supervisory roles such as Tactical Communications Officer, Training Department Head, and Operations Department Head for both of his patrol boat units. Stephen has also logged over 10,000 hours of tactical and underway command experience while protecting ports and performing escorts of MSC and Navy warships in and out of various harbors worldwide.

Captain Polk began his maritime career as an Able-Seaman for Polar Tankers and as a Third Mate and working in the TAPS trade moving crude oil from Valdez, AK to various ports along the west coast of the United States.

He is a 1997 graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston and holds a B.S. in Marine Transportation. He is certified by the US Coast Guard to teach USCG-approved radar courses offered by SCI – Houston.