VT Halter Marine
Inc. and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold a combined keel-laying ceremony
on June 15 for two NOAA ships under construction at VT Halter’s Moss Point, Miss., shipyard. Bell M Shimada is the last of four fisheries survey vessels
of the same design constructed for NOAA. Ferdinand R. Hassler is a small waterplane area twin hull coastal mapping vessel, the first of its class to be designed and constructed by VT Halter Marine.
Both ships were named through NOAA ship-naming contests, an educational initiative held in the regions where the ships will be home ported. Both winning student teams will actively participate in the ceremony.