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Posted: September 8, 2011

Transportation Department honors service of merchant mariners on 9/11

The heroism of merchant mariners who helped transport hundreds of thousands of people out of Lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is featured in a new video released this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration.

The video, "Rescue at Water's Edge," includes interviews with vessel operators, emergency responders and passengers.

"The story of merchant mariners coming to the aid of those in need on September 11, 2001 is an inspiring one," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "On that terrible day, our nation's seafarers, with courage and selflessness, transported hundreds of thousands of people out of harm's way to safety."

More than 300,000 people were transported by water from lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks in the largest unplanned waterborne evacuation in the history of the United States.

"The men and women of the New York and New Jersey merchant maritime community provided a beacon of light on one of the darkest days in our country's history. They were among the heroes running toward danger and exemplify what it means to be a U.S. merchant mariner," said U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda.

"Rescue at Water's Edge: The U.S. Merchant Marine Response to 9/11" can be viewed online.