Skip to content

River Division’s Leport Recognized by Coast Guard for Outstanding Service

by on July 5, 2018
Butch Leport (center) receives the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award in appreciation for his longstanding actions to promote waterway safety and security on the Ohio River Valley System.

Butch Leport, AEP River Transportation Division port captain, was recently awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award in appreciation for his longstanding actions to promote waterway safety and security on the Ohio River Valley System.

As chairman of the Huntington District Waterways Association (HDWA) and chairman of the HDWA Navigational Subcommittee, Leport, according to the Coast Guard, “demonstrated profound commitment and championed collaborative efforts between river industry operators and the U.S. Coast Guard.” Leport has dedicated over 2,000 hours to public education and emergency response efforts.

The Coast Guard cited two specific incidents that involved Leport and other River Division employees. First, on March 2, 2017, during a period of high water on the Ohio River, a towing vessel with three loaded tank barges collided into the main lock chamber at the Racine Lock and Dam, breaking the tow apart. Two of the barges and the towboat came to rest against the dam, and the lead barge entered the lock chamber.

One of the first on scene, Leport oversaw implementation of a marine transportation system recovery group that ensured the safe passage of prioritized cargoes through the lock and dam during the response operations.

According to the Coast Guard, “His immense professional expertise over a four-day period provided the Unified Command with critical information and allowed crews to free the vessel from the dam, recover all barges, and prevent the discharge of 3 million gallons of natural gas condensate.”

In a separate event, during that same historic high-water period on the Ohio River, 62 barges near Pittsburgh, Pa., broke free from their moorings and 27 of them collided with the Emsworth Lock and Dam (just downstream from Pittsburgh), resulting in widespread navigational hazards.

Again the Coast Guard called on Leport and again he responded.

“Mr. Leport worked tirelessly with the Coast Guard and developed safe passage and navigation protocols that guaranteed cargo vital to the energy industry reached destinations despite complex ongoing salvage operations,” the Coast Guard said.

Leport is also very active in his community of Gallipolis, Ohio, and supports the Riverworks Discovery effort, which helps educate children and their families about the commerce, culture and conservation of the rivers of America and their watersheds.

“I’m very lucky to have such a great team to work with and be able to draw from the knowledge they offer because it is truly a team effort when dealing with these situations,” Leport said.

From → News From AEP

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: