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Gulf Coast Fuel-Bunkering Company Lauded for Preventing Ike Disaster with Fuel Container Ship


HOUSTON (MARCH 3, 2009)--A Gulf Coast fuel-bunkering company with three little push boats prevented a potential disaster in the Houston Ship Channel with during Hurricane Ike.

When the Rickmers Seoul, a Superflex deep-sea container ship owned by Rickmers Line of Germany, broke away from its moorings at Hurricane Ike’s height at 4:30 in the morning of September 13, 2008, three Buffalo Marine Services push boats immediately responded, in the face of Ike’s 90-100 mile-an-hour winds.

Tuesday, Mar. 3,2009, the City of Houston is saluting and commending Buffalo Marine Services, Inc., along with the captains and crews involved, for bravery and heroism. Buffalo Marine Services is a full-service marine fuel bunkering company that has served the Gulf Coast since 1935.

The push boat captains were: San Carmen (Captains Pat Beshea and Jimmy Lopez), San Rafael (Captains Michael Ellis and Les Cain), and San Patricio (Captain Al Schmidt). The captains were assisted by their able crews; Joseph Lloyd, Ed Lott, and Victor Alvarez on the San Patricio; Joe Kissinger, Brandon Jones and Alex Stovall on the San Rafael; Kevin Flowers, Mario Villanueva, and Greg Colvin on the San Carmen.

Patrick J. Studdert, president and CEO, said of the situation: “The men were suddenly confronted with a large ship in a restricted ship channel out of control. They kept their heads and acted quickly to stabilize the situation.”

Pat Studdert further explained that on that fateful morning, ahead of the runaway container ship were two barges loaded with 50,000 barrels of flammable bunker fuel and the I-610 bridge over the Houston Ship Channel.

“The storm-swollen current, estimated at 5 knots, swung her bow down the channel toward the bridge. Together the three boats pushed the ship against the barges and the bank to keep it from hitting the bridge and causing a massive disaster,” Studdert said.

Bill White, Mayor of the City of Houston, will proclaim March 3, 2009, as Buffalo Marine Services Buffalo Marine Services, Inc. Day in Houston, Texas. The proclamation will be presented at 1:30 p.m. at the Houston City Hall downtown, second floor, Council chambers.

Buffalo Marine Services, Inc., a full-service marine fuel bunkering company, has served the Gulf Coast since 1935.##

Media contact: Shirley Barr, 713-622-4747

Focus: Gulf Coast full-service marine fuel bunkering, flammable fuel barges,Buffalo Marine Services, deep-sea container ship, Houston oil and gas, City of Houston proclamation, Mayor Bill White


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