BATH — The Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Marine Patrol honored exceptional service, outstanding support and acts of heroism during the department’s annual meeting on Sept. 16.
The event, held at the Maine Maritime Museum, included the presentation of the annual DMR Employee of the Year Award, given to Karen Roak of the Department’s Licensing Division, and the Manager of the Year Award, given to Marine Patrol Sgt. Troy Dow.
Roak was honored for providing customer service and being a role model for co-workers. Dow was recognized for demonstrating leadership and embracing challenge. “They each embody the professionalism and commitment to quality that sets a standard of excellence for everyone in the department,” said Maine DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
Sgt. Matthew Talbot and Specialist Corrie Roberts were presented the 2015 Marine Patrol Commendation Award for their efforts to recover the body of a North Haven lobsterman whose boat was left circling in rough seas and high winds after he died while underway.
Two Marine Patrol Lifesaving Awards were presented each to Sgt. Russell Wright and Officer Brian Brodie for separate incidents in 2014. In the first, the two rescued an urchin harvester whose boat had overturned in the treacherous Lubec Narrows in October. The second rescue occurred two months later when they pulled two urchin fishermen from a ledge near Cutler after their boat swamped.
Former Officer Benjamin Burnes also was presented a Marine Patrol Lifesaving Award for rescuing a man in 2015 after the man’s boat capsized in the York River. Burnes was credited with pulling the man from the swift current despite being weighted down by his gun belt, boots and ballistic vest.
Roberts and Officer Brian Tolman each received a Marine Patrol Lifesaving Award for saving a man who was suffering from a life-threatening laceration in 2015. The two were able to stop the man’s bleeding by applying first aid and stabilize him while waiting for EMS personnel to arrive.
Marine Patrol Col. Jon Cornish also presented three inaugural awards. They included the Legendary Service Award given to retired Lt. Dan Morris. Morris was credited with drafting marine resource regulations that are still in place today as well as modeling a strong standard of leadership within the bureau.
The Colonel’s Supervisor Award was presented to Talbot for administrative support work including organizing an Advanced Marine Patrol School and coordinating Marine Patrol accreditation by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
Sgt. Rob Beal was presented the 2016 Guardian Award by Operation Game Thief (OGT) Board Chair Greg Sirpis. Beal received the award for his support and advocacy for the OGT program, which works to combat illegal harvesting activity.
State Sen. Linda Baker also was honored with the first Maine Marine Patrol Appreciation Award. Baker, the Senate chair of the Marine Resources Committee, was credited with working hard to secure necessary votes to pass a bill that ensured pay raises for Maine law enforcement officials, including Marine Patrol officers. “We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her efforts on the part of Maine Marine Patrol, law enforcement as a whole and for the people of the state of Maine.”