Remarks of Mark V. Rosenker, Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board
At the Homecoming Ceremony at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Kings Point, NY
September 28, 2007
I am especially pleased to be here on this festive weekend and to have the honor of being the Formal Parade reviewing officer. For this I would like to acknowledge the kind invitation from Admiral Stewart and the warm hospitality of the officers and faculty of the Academy. And my greatest pleasure is just to be able visit with you young ladies and gentlemen, the members of the regiment of midshipmen.
One important mark of a good school is the support and affection of its alumni. From what I can see here today, you have an exceptionally supportive alumni and one great Academy.
As many of you may know the National Transportation Safety Board is best known for our investigations of major aviation accidents, and lately some notable highway accidents. However we also investigate accidents in all modes of transportation, including the Marine mode. We have had Kings Pointers working at the Safety Board for many years. We’ve investigated all kinds of accidents from capsizings of small passenger vessels, to fires aboard large passenger vessels, to losses of fishing vessels, and collisions and groundings of all types. One of our best best-known marine accident investigations was the grounding of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Kings Pointers have either led or participated in all of these accident investigations.
We, who work in transportation safety, especially value Kings Point because your training here will continue to make the US Merchant Marine the safe and effective mode of transportation that our country needs. The Merchant Marine is vital to all of us because it brings the raw materials energy products that our country needs and it carries our finished products to the markets of the world. Also it is our merchant ships that carry most of the supplies to support our armed forces wherever duty calls them to be. Ships and their modern equipment are technological marvels, and it takes an ever-increasing level of skill to operate them and to adhere to the complex and strict regimes of national and international regulations. You, who are earning your mariner’s licenses here at Kings Point, indeed will have an achievement to be proud of.
I very much enjoyed your parade, and I love the military traditions. I know that a number of Kings Point graduates are serving in our armed forces, primarily as officers in the Navy and Marine Corps, and some in the Coast Guard and the Army. My former service, the US Air Force, also has some Kings Pointers serving with distinction. I salute everyone whose vocation is to serve this great country of ours.
Kings Point prepares you for reaching some very lofty goals. So aim high. There is no limit to what you can achieve when you put your minds and your hearts into it. I encourage you to study hard, go to sea, raise your licenses, and then lets see some of you at the Safety Board.
Kings Point has a great Academy motto, which will serve you well in the careers that lay ahead of you. “Acta Non Verba” : Deeds Not Words.