Crowley Christens Tanker Florida in Philadelphia


March 2013


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Click HERE to access a gallery of photos from the christening


SIU members and officials joined in the celebration Jan. 30 at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard as the new Crowley Maritime Corporation Tanker Florida was christened. The ship is an outright addition to the Seafarers-crewed fleet, and will sail in the Jones Act trade.


Recertified Bosun John Lamprecht said things are going quite well aboard the new tanker, which was built by union shipyard workers. The ship’s officers are represented by members of the Seafarers-affiliated American Maritime Officers.


“We have a good crew,” he said. “Everybody’s been hustling, working hard. Everybody’s got a great attitude and a good working relationship. The captain has been cool…. Crowley has a good safety plan in effect, and we give them what they need.”


More than 100 guests turned out for the christening. Nina Glende Johnsen, the wife of Aker President and CEO Kristian Rokke, broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow.


In addition the unlicensed crew, the SIU was represented by Executive Vice President Augie Tellez, Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel, Vice President Atlantic Coast Joseph Soresi and Philadelphia Port Agent Joe Baselice.


Deputy Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen was a featured speaker at the pier-side ceremony. He said the U.S. is expected to become the world’s leading producer of crude oil in the next decade, so the capacity of the Florida and its sister ship Pennsylvania are important.


“This ship is well-timed,” he stated. “Jones Act vessels are the lifeblood of our domestic oil trade, and today we’ve strengthened that fleet.”


Jaenichen thanked President/CEO Tom Crowley and the entire company for their commitment to the U.S. maritime industry and reiterated the administration’s same commitment.


“As we celebrate the upcoming maiden voyage of this particular vessel, let us highlight what it means to our industry and the well-paying jobs for hard-working Americans,” Jaenichen concluded. “This country depends on a strong U.S.-flag fleet. It’s not only vital to the global and domestic trades, but it’s essential to keeping our country prosperous, secure and safe.”


After acknowledging his appreciation for the company’s partnerships with maritime labor, Crowley said, “Adding these new tankers to our fleet allows us to continue providing our customers with diverse and modern equipment to transport their petroleum and chemical products in a safe and reliable manner. I recall that one of my grandfather’s missions for the company included making investments that would not only help the company grow, but also provide jobs for people, which is something we have carried on to this day, and why we continue to support the Jones Act and our U.S. shipbuilding partners, including Aker.”


Rokke, reflecting not only on the Florida but the 17 other ships built at Aker since the yard reopened in 2003, said he is “filled with pride at what the men and women of this yard have produced…. Wherever this ship travels, it will make a tangible statement that she’s a citizen of America, a product of American workmanship and a symbol of what this great shipyard can achieve.”


Vessel Master Capt. Scott Davis introduced each crew member to the guests.


“These guys really have done the job,” he said. “I tip my hat to you.”


According to Crowley, the Florida will deliver domestic oil to U.S.-based refineries. The Pennsylvania, also built at Aker, currently is at work in the U.S. Gulf, with an SIU crew.


In a news release, the company noted, “Crowley has a long history of transporting petroleum products and chemicals by tankers and articulated tug barges (ATBs). Crowley is an innovator and leader in the industry through the development of an unrivaled ATB fleet, which includes some of the newest and most sophisticated ATBs in the market. As of this year, Crowley owns and operates 17 ATBs, which include 155,000-barrel, 185,000-barrel and 330,000-barrel capacity tank vessels. Crowley has safely and reliably operated all of these Jones Act tankers and ATBs on the U.S. Gulf, East and West coasts under voyage and time charters with leading companies in the petroleum and chemical industries, and moved 265 million barrels of petroleum and chemical product safely in 2012 alone.”


Aboard the Florida, members were pleased with the surroundings. Recertified Steward Hazel Johnson, welcoming visitors during a pre-christening shipboard tour, stated, “This is a cook’s dream: a brand new galley. Everything here is state-of-the-art.”


The first SIU crew on the Florida includes Bosun Lamprecht, ABs Jamar Harley, Marvin Chester, Ed Majeski, Theophilus Essien and Brandon Albro, Chief Pumpman Troy Banks, OMU Kevin Tyson, Oiler Ann Mensch, Steward Johnson, Chief Cook Brian Young and SA Marvin Davis.


M/T Florida at a Glance:


Length: 601 feet


Breadth: 105 feet


Depth, at side: 61 feet, 7 inches


Deadweight, at 11/12.2 m draft: 40,700, 45,800 tons


Gross tonnage: 29,200


Tank capacity: 331,158 barrels


Speed: 14.6 knots


Main engine: MAN-B&W 6S50MC, 2-stroke, 6-cylinder


N.C.R. (85% MCR): 9,894 BHP at 123.9 RPM


Source: Crowley Maritime

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