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Port Freeport
News Release
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

U.S. Coast Guard Recognizes Port Freeport and Brazos Pilots Leaders

FREEPORT, Texas –  Port Freeport Director of Operations, Al Durel, and Brazos Pilots Association President, Captain Billy Burns, were recently honored by the U.S. Coast Guard for their service during the events of Hurricane Harvey.  Rear Admiral Paul Thomas presented the award to the Greater Houston-Galveston Port Coordination Team at the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee meeting on February 2, 2018.   


“The resiliency of operations in Port Freeport after this disastrous event is a result of their leadership, cooperation and commitment to maintaining safe and secure waterways,” said Phyllis Saathoff, Port Freeport Executive Director/CEO.  “This is a great honor for Mr. Durel and Captain Burns, the Port Coordination Team and the Port community.” 

Mr. Durel and Captain Burns were also recognized for their service at the February 8, 2018 Port Freeport Commission meeting.  “The dedication by both Mr. Durel and Captain Burns to the Port Coordination Team during the preparation for and response to Hurricane Harvey was instrumental in the timely reopening of the Freeport Harbor Channel,” said Paul Kresta, Port Freeport Commission Chairman.

The Port Coordination Team is an essential group of area port representatives that work together to keep communication flowing throughout the maritime and industry communities.  The team works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard during heavy weather and emergency events to relay critical information both to and from maritime community and industry partners. 

Captain Burns has served the Brazos Pilots for 20 years.  He began working with the Port Coordination Team upon its establishment in the early 2000s.

Al Durel graduated from the University of New Orleans and has held various positions throughout his career including Ship Superintendent, Vessel Agency, Terminal Operator, Terminal Manager, and Port Captain.  Al joined Port Freeport as Director of Operations in 1999 and serves on numerous committees including the PCT – Port Coordination Team, BMAT – Brazosport Marine Action Team and Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee.

Port Freeport is ranked 10th in chemicals and 26th in containers. The Channel serves Dow Chemical, Phillips 66, BASF, Tenaris, Vulcan Material, Mammoet, Freeport Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG), Riviana, Dole, Chiquita, Seaway, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hoegh Autoliners.

Port Freeport is committed to keeping the local community informed of our operation and results.  If you have questions or comments about this article, please email or call Lauren McCormick, Public Affairs Manager.

Pictured (Top Middle): U.S. Coast Guard District Eight Commander, Rear Admiral Paul Thomas recognizes the Houston-Galveston Port Coordination Team with the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation.

Pictured (Above Left): Port Freeport Chairman, Paul Kresta, presents Al Durel and Captain Billy Burns with Public Service Commendation.


Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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