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Prestigious Marine Industry Awards Presented At 2nd Annual Turning The Tide Awards Gala In St. John's, NL


St. John’s, NL – The prestigious Turning the Tide Marine Industry Awards were handed out last night at the St. John’s Convention Centre in downtown St. John’s. More than 450 guests turned out to celebrate the 2nd Annual Gala event, honouring excellence and leadership in the marine industry.

Chairman Paul Antle, emcee for the evening, noted that this event is the only one of its kind in Atlantic Canada to recognize the marine industry. “In 2017, we hosted the inaugural Turning the Tide Marine Industry Awards, which was a great success. It provided a long overdue opportunity to not only honour some outstanding contributors, but the significant role of the marine industry in our history, and in the future for our province,” said Antle, “This event is an opportunity to recognize those who are leading the way in our ocean-based industries, and this year we are very proud to recognize three outstanding award recipients.”

Three awards were presented during the evening; the Industry Leadership and Excellence Award went to Atlantic Towing for their exceptional work, environmental, and safety record in the internationally competitive NL offshore. The Industry Lifetime Achievement Award honoured the remarkable work of the late Ches D. Penney. A leader in the marine industry, Mr. Penney provided leadership in many areas of marine work including coastal shipping, ship repair, offshore tankers and fishing, and was known as a philanthropist throughout the community. The third award, the Award for Historical Marine Significance, was given to Captain William Jackman, a legendary captain in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canadian, history. In October 1867, Captain Jackman plunged into the ocean to save 27 people from a shipwreck off the coast of Labrador, earning him a British Royal Humane Society Silver Medal for his heroism, and a place in history, for his bravery.


While the Turning the Tide Marine Industry Awards honour excellence in the industry, and celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador culture, they also serve to provide much needed financial support to deserving marine related charities in Newfoundland and Labrador that continue to promote our marine heritage. Through funds raised during the event, industry leaders are giving back to their community, and creating sustainable rural communities throughout our province. During the gala, Turning the Tide Awards Board Member Leo Power took to the stage to present a cheque for $50,000 to the Home from The Sea Foundation. The donation, accepted by Myrtle Stagg of the Home from The Sea Foundation, will support the ongoing work of the Foundation and the John C. Crosbie Sealers Interpretation Centre in preserving marine history.

“Thank you to Turning the Tide for a first-class event in support of great community charity,” said Jim Irving, President of Atlantic Towing.  We are honoured by this recognition which is a real tribute of the men and women at Atlantic Towing who are proud to call St. John’s our home port for eastern Canada’s largest offshore fleet.  Our 200+ St. John’s-based employees are from 93 communities across the province.  Their everyday motivation is to serve valued customers and that has resulted in new contracts, new ships and most importantly, new jobs – 107 hires in 2017 alone.  We dedicate this award to our customers for their unwavering commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore industry,” Irving explained.

 Turning the Tide Award 2018
 Left to Right: Premier Dwight Ball with Turning the Tide award recipients: Tine Jackman, Jim Irving and Iris Petten  

The 2019 Turning the Tide Marine Industry Awards will celebrate the third year for the prestigious awards, with a call for nominations coming early in the new year. More information can be found at


Please direct all media inquiries to:

June Perry
(709) 753-0794
(709) 682-2682



Awarded to an outstanding business that demonstrated leadership and integrity to address challenges that sets a strong example and benefit to the industry as whole.

2018 Award: Atlantic Towing Limited

With more than 50 years of experience in the marine industry Atlantic Towing has done what it takes to be a successful leader in the internationally competitive Newfoundland and Labrador offshore. They have not only invested in state-of-the-art offshore supply and specialty support vessels but in the people and operational culture needed to deliver consistently on their contracts in the safety first, professional manner that one of the harshest marine environments in the world demands. The ten vessels Atlantic Towing deploys here speaks volumes to the confidence the operators have placed in them.


Awarded to one individual each year who is viewed as having demonstrated exemplary leadership in driving excellence in his or her sector and has contributed to the positive image and betterment of the industry as a whole.

2018 Award: Ches D. Penney

The late Mr. Penney’s fascination with the Newfoundland and Labrador marine industry is a remarkable untold story, defined by facets that range from ship repair, to offshore oil and gas, to our traditional fishing industry. Like all his efforts, an optimistic nature and a signature belief in the people of Newfoundland and Labrador underpinned successes that he took to the next level in the marine industry. Leaders give back in ways that extend beyond what they are obliged to do and Mr. Penney certainly did that in countless ways that are perhaps best summed up in his being awarded both Order of Canada and the Order of Newfoundland.


Awarded to an individual, organization or community that through either a singular accomplishment, or a multitude of activities, has turned the tides of history; or, through demonstrated perseverance and strength of character has positively impacted the fortunes of others, contributing significantly to the province’s marine industry.

2018 Award: Captain William Jackman

On October 9, 1867, Captain William Jackman anchored in Spotted Island, Labrador to avoid rough weather. What transpired from there is a story of bravery and selflessness. A small fishing schooner was in distress; Captain Jackman saw the vessel and knew it did not have much time. He plunged into the ocean, swimming to and from the schooner 27 times to rescue those onboard, carrying each man on his back to the safety of the shore. In 1868, Captain William Jackman was presented with the British Royal Humane Society Silver Medal for his heroism. Captain Willian Jackman died a young man; some say he never recovered from the strain of his heroic act. For his heroism and for displaying that strength of character so typical of Great Newfoundland Captains, William Jackman deserves this award of Historical recognition.