International Ship Repair’s George Lorton Receives Captain James McKay Port Tampa Bay Achievement Award

- George Lorton was honored posthumously as the 2022 recipient of the Captain James McKay Port Achievement award, which was presented at this year’s Anchor Ball which took place on December 3, 2022. The award is given annually to an individual or group in recognition of their contribution over many years to Port Tampa Bay and the maritime community. Prior year recipients have included such prominent leaders who helped support the port’s development as the Barkett Family, Stephen Swindal, Shirley McKay Savage Knight, Captain Allen Thompson, Terry Fluke, George Steinbrenner, Joseph Garcia and Sam Gibbons. George Lorton was a constant force and respected fixture in our maritime community for more than 60 years.

A Tampa native, maritime veteran and businessman for over 55 years, Lorton began his career as a shipyard apprentice in 1962 and never stopped working in the ship repair and marine service industry. In 1990, George purchased International Ship Repair & Marine Services, and eventually became sole owner, President, Chairman and CEO. An entrepreneur, his additional companies include Padgett-Swann Machinery, Marine Metal Works, and Lorton Holdings. He gave back in many ways through membership in local clubs to supporting numerous organizations and charities. George helped many people over the years, always believing that he could make a difference in someone’s life. He is greatly missed by our entire maritime community.

This year's Anchor Ball was held on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at the TPepin Hospitality Centre and is the annual gala event for the Port Tampa Bay maritime industry. Proceeds benefit two great causes: Tampa Port Ministries, which operates the Seafarers' Center, and the Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarship Foundation. The Seafarers’ Center, staffed by dedicated volunteers, serves the crews of visiting cargo and cruise ships by meeting the physical, social and spiritual needs of seafarers, who are often of modest means and spend months at sea away from their home and families. The Seafarers’ Center has risen to the challenges brought by the pandemic and been instrumental in getting thousands of visiting seafarers vaccinated against Covid-19. The Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarships are awarded to graduates of the Hillsborough County high school maritime studies program pursuing careers in this industry.