K. Erik Baur
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Mr. K. Erik Baur recently passed away at his home in Costa Mesa, California. Erik was born in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1917. He commenced his lifelong connection with the sea and marine industry, signing on to a small sailing ship at the age of 16 years. In 1939, he graduated as a Master Mariner from the Gothenburg Nautical College. In 1941, Erik served his military commitment with the Royal Swedish Navy attached to mine-sweeping activities in the Swedish Western Archipelago. Further sea service was carried out trading between the United States West Coast and Australia under the auspices of the US War Administration and The British War Admiralty Department during World War II. In 1946, Erik emigrated to the US and became a citizen in 1953. Erik's lifelong nautical career continued with Matson Navigation in both San Francisco and Los Angeles/Long Beach in Stevedoring and Terminal operations. During this time and at great personal risk, at approximately 0430 hours on February 27, 1949 whilst Erik was working the "SS Ventura" at Pier 34 Matson Terminals, San Francisco noted a man topple into the cold waters. As a consequence of the strong tide, the man was swept from between the pier and the ship's side. After alerting the personnel on board the ship, Erik dived into the water, rescued the man and swam back to the ship where the alerted crew completed the successful rescue. Erik continued his career operating his own Ship Chartering Company, as an Operations Manager with Transmarine Navigation and as Port Captain for NYK and Showa Line. In concert with Salen Shipping and Interocean founded what was to become Salen Shipping Agencies. Erik was the President until his retirement in 1990. He also served as a consultant/advisor with Cool Carriers of Stockholm, Sweden. Erik had a philanthropic nature contributing generously fiscally and personally to Boy Scouts of America, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Foundation, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Construction of the Coast Guard Academy Seamanship Sailing Center and Ellis Island Foundation for the Restoration of the Statue of Liberty. Erik was also an active Mason as a Shriner, Knights Templar and the Scottish Rite (32°); to paraphrase Burns a fellow member:
A Last Request Permit Me Hear
When Yearly Ye Assemble
One Round I Ask It With A Tear
To Him The Sailor That's Far Away
A thumb nail review of Erik's accomplishments are: 1972-1988 Member of the Board of directors of The Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles. 1972-1978 Member Board of Directors of Fesco. The Far Eastern Shipping Company. 1979-1996 Vice President Coast Guard Foundation, New London, Connecticut. Since 1996 Director Emeritus 19556-1993 Member of the US Naval Institute 1988-2001 Member of the Board of Directors Long Beach Memorial Medical Center 1967 Received the Moshe Dayan Medal from Israel 1979 Received from the Swedish King "Knight of the Royal Order of the North Star, First Class.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on November 2, 2011