Photo courtesy Eastern Shipbuilding Group

New Staten Island Ferry Named After Fallen Soldier Headed to New York City

Mike Schuler
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August 6, 2021

Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has completed construction of the first of three new Staten Island ferries for the New York City Department of Transportation.

The MV SSG Michael H. Ollis left ESG’s facility in Port St. Joe, Florida under tow by Dann Ocean Towing’s tug Colonel for its 12-day transit to New York City.

Although fully certified and passenger ready, the ferry is set be staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of trials and training before it begins passenger operations in the Fall.

The new “Ollis Class” ferries series are named after fallen U.S. Army soldier Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, a Staten Island native, who was killed shielding fellow soldiers from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2013 while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. Hull 219, the first of the series, is named in his honor.

“We are proud to deliver Staten Island Ferry MV SSG MICHAEL H. OLLIS to New York City fully certified and passenger-ready,” said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “It is the first vessel of the modernized fleet and boasts the most advanced technology and environmental engineering in the maritime industry. It’s been an honor for Eastern to build this class named after one of our fallen heroes and deliver state of the art vessels for the world’s busiest passenger-ferry route. This iconic vessel transports millions of tourists and residents every year. It is a critical maritime infrastructure project that was proudly built by hardworking American ship designers and builders.”

ESG is responsible for the regulatory and detailed production engineering, vessel construction, and delivery of the three Ollis-class ferries. The vessels are being constructed in ESG’s Allanton, Florida yard, before heading to ESG’s newest facility in Port St. Joe for outfitting, testing, and trials.

Compared to existing Staten Island Ferries, the new vessels are larger, more modern and eco-efficient, and will operate more safely in extreme weather conditions. As part of the city’s emergency response plan, the design of the ferries draws on lessons learned during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and can support evacuations and rescue.

Elliott Bay Design Group supplied the design for the double-ended, 4,500 passenger ferries. Each features four ABS Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) L12ME23B @ 750 rpm EPA Tier 4 marine engines with two engines powering one ABS Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining gear and one ABS 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider Propeller at each end of the vessel. Power generation is provided by three ABS, EPA Tier 3 marine continuous duty diesel generator sets, Caterpillar C18 driving 480 V, 60 Hz, 3-phase generators rated at 425 kW at 0.8 P.F. @ 1800 rpm.

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