The Steam Packet’s fast craft Manannan flew an American flag last week to mark the retirement of a former commander from her days in military service.
The stars and stripes flew from the vessel during last Friday’s sailing from Liverpool to Douglas in tribute to Captain Thomas Shaw of the United States Navy.
He commanded the vessel when it was known as USS Joint Venture between 2001 and 2006, when it acted as a fast transport and support vessel for the U.S. armed forces.
Captain Shaw officially retires in June after 27 years’ military service. He has been recognised with numerous medals and awards during his career, including the prestigious Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievements. He has participated in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines.
The Steam Packet agreed to recognise his service with Manannan after being approached by Commander Robert Stover, Director of Engineering with the Afloat Training Group in San Diego.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Manannan has served the Isle of Man well since joining our fleet and we are extremely proud of her. When Commander Stover asked if it would be possible to recognise Captain Shaw’s time with the vessel in his retirement year, we were delighted to pay our tribute.
Mr Woodward continued: ‘With so much history of our own, the Steam Packet Company was happy to agree to recognise the role Captain Shaw played in the history of Manannan. Everyone here wishes Captain Shaw all the best for his retirement.’
Commander Stover explained that Captain Shaw’s retirement will be marked with a formal ceremony in June attended by family, friends and colleagues and featuring a Navy band.
He said: ‘I would like to pass my personal best regards to everyone at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for allowing this to happen.’