Crowley Christens Fourth Ocean Class Tug, Ocean Sun

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Crowley chairman and CEO, Tom Crowley, speaks during the Ocean Sun christening ceremony, October 15, 2014. Photo credit: Crowley Maritime Corps.

Crowley Maritime Corp. has christened the fourth of four Ocean class tugs during a ceremony Wednesday in Lake Charles, Louisiana, formally welcoming the DP2, 150-ton bollard pull tugboat, Ocean Sun, to its ocean towing fleet.

The Ocean Sun, which features DP2 technology, is part of a feature-rich, four-vessel family of tugs ideally suited to work with Crowley’s new 455 series high-deck strength barges, which measure 400 feet long by 105 feet wide (121.92 meters by 32 meters).

All four of the Ccean class tugboats are designed to have a minimum bollard pull of 150 metric tons and a range of approximately 12,600 nautical miles at 15 knots free running. They are outfitted with twin-screw, controllable-pitch propellers in nozzles and high lift rudders for a combination of performance and fuel economy. Each of the ocean class tugs are outfitted for long-range, high-capacity ocean towing, rig moves, platform and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit tows, emergency response and firefighting.

The first two Ocean class tugs, the Ocean Wave and Ocean Wind, are classed as Dynamic Positioning 1 (DP1) tugboats with an overall length of 146 ft, beam of 46 ft, hull depth of 25 ft and design draft of 21 ft. The second two tugs, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun, are classed as DP2 and are be 10 feet longer. All four tugs were built by Bollinger Shipyards in Amelia, LA, and the first in the series, Ocean Wave, was delivered in September 2012. Ocean Sun was delivered by Bollinger in May 2013.

Lead vessel in the Ocean class, MV Ocean Wave. Photo credit: Bollinger Shipyards
Lead vessel in the Ocean class, MV Ocean Wave. Photo credit: Bollinger Shipyards

Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley’s solutions group, opened the ceremony to approximately 80 guests. He was followed by a series of speakers including Tom Crowley, chairman and CEO; Craig Tornga, vice president, solutions, and Robert Socha, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Bollinger.

Following an introduction of the tug’s crew members by Cal Hayden, vice president, marine operations for Crowley, and a blessing of the vessel by Deacon Patrick Lapoint, director of the Stella Maris Seafarers’ Center at the Port of Lake Charles, Vessel Sponsor Coreen Busch, wife of Todd Busch, broke the ceremonial bottle of champagne across the hull of the boat.

ENI Petroleum, Heerema and Bechtel – all Crowley customers – had representatives in attendance, as did the area’s port commission.

“Today we are pleased to formally welcome the latest of our four Jones Act ocean class tugboats to the fleet and culminate this multi-year build program,” said Crowley. “These boats, along with their exceptional crews, have consistently met and exceeded the expectations of our energy customers doing business in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We look forward to many years of service from these powerful and reliable cornerstone vessels.”

All four tugs have been involved in some major offshore oil production installations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico over the past 18 months:

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Above: During the first-ever pairing of all four ocean class tugs – Ocean Wave, Ocean Wind, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun – worked together to tow the largest offshore oil production and drilling platform of its kind ever to be built for use in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the 120,000 ton TLP Olympus for 425-miles from Ingleside, Texas, to her final location in more than 3,000 feet of water. (See Photos: Crowley’s Ocean Class Deliver Olympus Mega-Platform)

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Above: Later the quad towed, moored and made storm-safe the Jack/St. Malo topside at a depth of 7,000 feet and moved Delta House floating production platform and Chevron’s TLP Bigfoot. (See Photos: Jack/St. Malo Platform Delivered to U.S. Gulf of Mexico)

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Above: Three of the tugs, Ocean Wave, Ocean Wind and Ocean Sun, also towed the 605-foot long, 110-foot wide Lucius spar for Anadarko Petroleum from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Keathley Canyon Block 875 some 300 miles offshore; and Ocean Wind towed the production deck of Saipem’s Tubular Bells topside also in the Gulf of Mexico.(See Photos: Lucius Spar and Topsides Heads to Keathley Canyon)

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Above: For its first day of work in November 2012, lead vessel Ocean Wave towed the grounded containership Hansa Berlin from the northern coast of Cuba on behalf of Titan Salvage, Crowley’s emergency response, marine salvage and wreck removal arm. (See also: Crowley’s New Ocean Class Tug Tows Hansa Berlin to Safety)

Full Coverage: Crowley’s Ocean Class

Photos courtesy Crowley Maritime Corp.