The Judge Advocate General of the U. S. Coast Guard, RADM William D. Baumgartner, visited operations of the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) in New York and New Jersey on Monday, August 11, 2008.
RADM Baumgartner began the day at the New York Headquarters in the South Street Seaport, sitting down with the Executive Director of SCI and the director of SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights Douglas B. Stevenson. The three leaders reviewed ongoing and prospective collaborations between the U. S. Coast Guard and SCI. According to Stevenson, the initiatives are designed to leverage USCG and SCI capabilities to enhance seafarers’ welfare, raise mariners’ professional qualifications, and protect the marine environment. Stevenson offered, “Having worked with RADM Baumgartner on several delegations and initiatives over the years, SCI knows his commitment to fair treatment of seafarers and seafarers’ welfare.”
After this meeting, Stevenson escorted the admiral to SCI’s International Seafarers’ Center in the Port of Newark. “We were thrilled that he could also see first hand our port chaplain’s work amongst seafarers in the port,” said Stevenson. RADM Baumgartner joined port chaplain Jacques Girard as he visited ships in the Port.
After his visit, RADM Baumgartner remarked, “I'm continually impressed with the genuine, heartfelt concern that SCI has for the mariners who form the backbone of our maritime transportation system. We owe those mariners so much. I am so glad that the Center for Seafarers Rights and the dedicated port chaplains from SCI are here to look out for their rights and their needs.”