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A sea turtle ensnared by fishing nets was cut free by the crew of the USNS Invincible on March 29.
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Apr. 13, 201712:00 PM EST

City Notes: Crowley Maritime crew completes 'Turtle Ops'


The Crowley Maritime Corp. crew aboard the company-managed USNS Invincible saved a distressed sea turtle March 29. It had become entangled in nets and fishing lines in offshore waters near Southwest Asia.

The crew dubbed the rescue “Turtle Ops.” It was performed when the crew had no pending operations and it could be done safely.

The Jacksonville-based company said it used the USNS Invincible’s bow thruster to maneuver the ship into position to bring the sea creature alongside and onboard. The Crowley crew, along with U.S. military personnel onboard, cut away the nets and fishing lines and released the turtle back into the ocean.

“There’s a well-known unwritten maritime law that a sailor should always help another seafarer in need on the high seas and, for Crowley, that mentality extends to all forms of ocean life,” said Ira Douglas, the company’s director of marine personnel, in a news release.

Douglas said that rescuing the turtle “gave us the opportunity to practice our man overboard drill and demonstrate outstanding character, as well as our commitment to being good stewards of the marine environment.”

The USNS Invincible is part of the T-AGOS/T-AGM fleet and is operated for Military Sealift Command by Crowley’s government services group.

University of North Florida appoints three deans

The University of North Florida has appointed three deans.

Curt Lox will be the dean of the Brooks College of Health, starting at the end of May. For the past two decades, he has worked at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a kinesiology and health education professor and as dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior.

Pam Chally, former BCH dean, retired in late March but will return in October to serve as the university’s interim provost. Cathy Christie, BCH associate dean, is serving as acting dean between Chally leaving and Lox starting the new post.

George Rainbolt will be the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning in July. He comes from Georgia State University, where he is chair of the Department of Philosophy. His wife, Madeline Zavodny, will join the Coggin College of Business faculty as an economics professor.

Jeff Chamberlain will become dean of Hicks Honors College starting in August. For the past 10 years, he served as director of Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. Previously, he was a professor of history at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. The current Honors director, Jeff Michelman, will return as a UNF faculty member after working for the past several years elevating the Honors program to a college.

Lazenby named chief medical officer

John Lazenby has joined Memorial Hospital as chief medical officer. He will provide leadership to the medical staff and oversee several quality, clinical performance and service initiatives. Lazenby spent the past five years at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital where he was assistant chief medical officer and associate professor of medicine. At UAB, Lazenby served as a quality officer. Before joining UAB, he spent 12 years in private practice in Arkansas and Georgia. He is board certified in pulmonary disease, critical care medicine and sleep medicine.

Scott to head Foundry platform

Foundry Commercial, with commercial real estate offices across the Southeast and Texas, has launched an industrial platform in Jacksonville to be headed by industry veteran Mark Scott. He will work with Jacksonville Market Leader Brad Chrischilles to grow Foundry’s presence. Scott has specialized in industrial real estate since 1989, most recently as the senior director of the industrial group of Graham & Company.

Warner joins The Quick Law Group

Autumn Warner has joined The Quick Law Group, which practices divorce and family law for women. Her practice focuses on family law. She also is a board member of The Exchange Club Family Center of North America and is a member of the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association.

Finley to headline health symposium

The Association for Corporate Growth North Florida Chapter said Florida Blue will sponsor “The Guidewell Innovation Center: Reimagining the Future of Health” with Renee Finley, president of the Guidewell Innovation Center, on April 26. The vision is to build a global center of health excellence, where leaders will address current issues, evaluate emerging trends and find solutions to transform and reshape the health industry. The event is scheduled 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at The River Club. For information, call (904) 354-9600 or register at

Scott names Joson CSX special officer

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Christopher Joson as a special officer of CSX Transportation. Joson, 35, of Fleming Island, is a special agent with the CSX Transportation Police. He is appointed to a vacant seat for a term that began Monday and ends at the pleasure of the governor. The CSX police department was formed from members comprising of the CSX predecessor railroads. In the U.S., the appointment, commission and regulation of rail police primarily remains a state mandate.

Gov. Scott appoints Gaver to rehabilitation council

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Sara Gaver, 23, of Jacksonville to the Florida Rehabilitation Council. Gaver is a member of the Florida Independent Living Council and a former Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term that began Friday and ends June 30, 2018.


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