LI Sea Tow Skipper Honored by Coast Guard
Sea Tow Services International announced that Captain Les J. Trafford, owner of Sea Tow Shinnecock and Moriches, headquartered in Hampton Bays, New York, has been honored with a Certificate of Merit Public Service Award from the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on behalf of the Secretary of Homeland Security. The award was presented to Capt. Trafford by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, Captain J. M. Vojvodich at a ceremony held at Coast Guard Station Moriches, New York, on May 15, 2012.
Capt. Trafford, who has been a U.S. licensed Coast Guard Captain for over 22 years, was cited for, “His exemplary commitment to maritime safety and support of [U.S. Coast Guard] Station Shinnecock, Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Moriches, and the local boating community from January 2009 to October 2011. Throughout this period, Captain Trafford has devoted countless hours providing invaluable local knowledge of the ever-changing shoals of Moriches Bay and Inlet. His efforts were instrumental in recent aids to navigation (ATON) operations.”
“We heartily congratulate Les on receiving this well-deserved award,” said Sea Tow Founder and CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer. “He has spent countless hours providing invaluable service to the Coast Guard, the boating public, and his local Long Island community that goes way above and beyond his duties as a Sea Tow Captain and franchise owner.”
The Certificate of Merit also recognized Capt. Trafford for the following services:
- In conjunction with the [ATON] spring seasonal reliefs for the past two consecutive years, Capt. Trafford has personally conducted an area of operations transit with the Officer-in-Charge of ANT Moriches to show exact positions of shoals that have developed over the winter.
- In the spring of 2011, he launched in advance of Coast Guard ATON assets to survey the channel created by the Army Corp of Engineers during a federal aid relocation project. He provided excellent recommended aid positions and used his own vessel as a visual reference to mark shallow water.
- On August 3, 2011, he assisted CG-45310 after the vessel had become disabled off of Moriches Inlet by towing the vessel and crew to Sector Field Office East Moriches to effect repairs.
- Capt. Trafford’s timely reports of ATON discrepancies have led to the timely repair of aids to navigation and a safer waterway for the local boating community.
- Capt. Trafford and the vessels operating under his control are an irreplaceable set of eyes and ears for Station Shinnecock and ANT Moriches, often notifying the station of boating accidents and possible search and rescue cases before notification by partner agencies, and on many occasions his vessels have been first on scene.
- Capt. Trafford personally assisted Coast Guard Station Shinnecock in the creation of a master chart encompassing the entire area of operations, which included a comprehensive list of boat ramps, marinas, road accesses, and actual first-hand depth soundings of all of the creeks and rivers. This information significantly decreased the rate of qualification time, reduced the risk to operating boat crews through familiarity with the area, and provided a better service to the boating public.
The U.S. Coast Guard citation concluded, “Capt. Trafford’s dedication and devotion in supporting the local Coast Guard units and the boating community are most heartily commended and in keeping with the highest traditions of public service.”