SAVANNAH, Ga. – Burt Moore has spent most of his life dedicated to the Savannah River. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering generations of his family have done the same. His father, uncles, and grandfather all worked with the Savannah Machine & Foundry company to build ships, including liberty ships, a type of cargo ship used during World War II. Moore, who had previously been working as a stevedore on the riverfront, began working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1991 when they were looking for a hydrographic survey boat captain with 100-ton master's license.
Moore’s decades-long dedication to the Savannah River was recently recognized when the Savannah Propeller Club rewarded him with the Maritime Person of the Year in Savannah, Georgia on May 19 as part of the club’s celebration of National Maritime Day. The club’s celebration included recognizing the achievements of members and a wreath laying to honor merchant seamen who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“I can't really express in words how much it meant for the Propeller Club and friends of mine to recognize me,” said Moore. “This award is very special to me. These are these my peers in the maritime industry.”
Moore expressed a lot of admiration for such peers, ranging from master pilots and tugboat operators to personnel from the Georgia Ports Authority and the U.S. Coast Guard, all working on such developments as the ongoing Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and the Brunswick Harbor deepening between 2004 and 2008.
“I'm not an individual guy at all,” said Moore. “I'm all about the team. You gotta be. I believe in that 100 percent and just try to lead by example. Hopefully I'm gonna leave it in good shape when I do retire.”
Moore said he has held many roles with the Corps. He started working as a small craft operator but has gone to work as an engineer diver, supervisory civil engineer tech, chief of dredging, contract administrator, and job coordinator. But Moore said his preference is working directly on the river.
“What I enjoy the most about working on the Savannah River is the people you get to work with, which is a very diverse group, and knowing I have a small part of doing something for my hometown, Georgia and our country,” said Moore.
Moore is near retirement and he has a clear plan for what he’ll do then.
“Golfing and fishing,” said Moore. “And whatever my wife tells me to do. One is mandatory. The other ones are optional.”