Heroic Actions of Tugboat Crew to Save Vessel Recognized by U.S. Coast Guard and Port of Hueneme

PORT OF HUENEME, CA, FEBRUARY 25, 2022 – It was an unusually slow day on the docks back on April 21, 2021 when crewmembers onboard a Brusco tugboat sprang into action from the Port of Hueneme to assist a vessel in distress. A 17-year-old container ship named the President Eisenhower was headed from Los Angeles to San Francisco when it suffered an engine room fire that disabled command of the vessel.


LT. Sean McGaughan, US Coast Guard; Dona Lacayo, Chief Commercial & Public Affairs Officer; Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director, Port of Hueneme; Frankee Fullilove; Captain Mike Fullilove, Brusco; Rebecca Ore, Captain of the Port and Commanding Officer at US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach; President Mary Anne Rooney, Oxnard Harbor Commission; Mike Morrison, Operations Manager, Port of Hueneme; Rodrigo Zaragoza, Operations Intern, Port of Hueneme


A vessel named Teresa Brusco and her crew pushed the Eisenhower vessel away from shore while other tugboats and salvage companies came to assist. The vessel was disabled in the shipping lane while fully loaded and drifting to shore. Crewmembers of the Teresa Brusco, Capt. Mike Fullilove, Jason Diaz, George Gonzalez, and Justin Donick worked quickly to ensure everyone’s safety.

Rebecca Ore, Captain of the Port and Commanding Officer at US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, U.S. Coast Guard personnel Capt. Steven Bor, Commander Sector Los Angeles, and Lt. Sean McGaughan, Marine Safety Detachment Santa Barbara, as well as the Port of Hueneme honored the crew’s heroic efforts with a Certificate of Merit during a special recognition event held on February 18, 2022.

“This is a well-deserved special award recognition for the brave actions of everyone involved,” said Mary Anne Rooney, Oxnard Harbor Commission President. “Brusco is one of the Port’s greatest partners and the only tugboat company assisting vessels in and out of the harbor for the past 33 years and we are extremely proud of their actions.”


Brusco crewmembers Jason Diaz and Justin Donick with the M/V President Eisenhower in August 2021


Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director said: “We are proud to have Brusco Tugs here at the Port of Hueneme and this recognition is well deserved. On behalf of the Port of Hueneme, we thank the individuals who sacrificed their time and energy to save a fellow maritime partner in distress.”
The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. The Port is governed by five locally elected Port Commissioners. The Port consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $2.2 billion in economic activity and creating 20,032 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $173.2 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit.

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