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Propeller Club to celebrate Maritime Day

Staff report

The International Propeller Club Port of Paducah will celebrate National Maritime Day on May 17 at Maiden Alley Cinema.

The celebration, open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. Rep. Ed Whitfield and Roy Adams, third vice president of the International Propeller Club of the United States, will speak followed by the annual laying of the Merchant Mariner Memorial Wreath on the waters at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers.

Two honorees will be recognized at the celebration, according to the club, for their accomplishments and dedication to the inland marine towing industry. Stan Knight - senior health and safety coordinator of AEP River Operations in Paducah - will be named Port Person of the Year, and Capt. Frank Johnson - senior vessel operations manager at Ingram Barge Company in Paducah - will be named Maritime Person of the Year.

Knight has served several years on the Propeller Club Board of Governors, where he has previously served as president and board chairman. The club also noted that Knight has led many initiatives with which it has been involved - including organizing the Paint the Drains environmental awareness effort in downtown Paducah - and served as chairman of the American Waterways Operators Inland Safety Committee.

Johnson has worked in the river industry for 41 years. He began as a deckhand and worked through the ranks to pilot - and then captain - on the M/V Joe B. Wyatt, operating with large lower Mississippi River tows between St. Louis and New Orleans.

Johnson moved to shore side duties in January 2002 and has oversight responsibility for the daily Ingram Barge Company operations on the Mississippi River System. Johnson has also served on the Lower Mississippi River Committee, including two terms as chairman. There, he aided U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans in managing high water and low water events, Hurricane Katrina response, and the construction of the Greenville, Miss., highway bridge over the Mississippi River.

Paducah Tilghman High School freshman Ariana Mundy, a member of the school's marching band, will play taps.

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