C-PORT honors tow captain who died on the job

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The Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing presented its first Compass Rose Award to a member of the marine assistance industry at its recent conference, which was held Jan. 8-9 in Tampa, Fla.

“It is a privilege to present this award to Lee McCune. He embodied the meaning of this award, always working for the betterment of our industry,” C-PORT chairman Chris Shaffner said in presenting the posthumous award.

Diana McCune accepted it on behalf of her husband, who died while responding to a disabled boater. In April 2010, McCune, assisted by his wife, was responding to a 30-foot boat that had run aground off Islamorada, near Cotton Key, Fla., when the McCunes’ boat ran aground and tipped over on the starboard side.

Diana was thrown from the boat, and she was treated and released. Lee was caught under the superstructure and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“He was an avid powerboater, diver, salvage master, videographer, photographer and web page designer. His creativity and people skills addressed serious matters by spinning them with a humorous anecdote,” BoatUS Towing Services vice president Jerry Cardarelli said of Lee.

“He'd been captain at the wheel of a towboat since the ’90s with his parents as close partners of BoatUS for over 20 years,” Cardarelli added. “He beamed laughter and a positive attitude that was addictive to all who shared his company.”

C-PORT also presented several other lifesaving awards.

Click here to read about the honorees.

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