SOPNewswire reported that NOAA has dedicated a new high-speed research vessel
. It will that will work the waters of the Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The vessel will be used primarily for research missions but will also support education, monitoring and emergency response patrols. The vessel has been named the Auk in honor of an extinct seabird that once wintered in these waters.
Built by All American Marine of Bellingham, Wash., the 50-foot Auk is a Teknicraft hydrofoil-assisted, aluminum-hulled catamaran powered by Cummins 484 horsepower engines. The vessel operates with a top speed of 28 knots, a cruising speed of 20 knots and has a fuel capacity of 600 gallons. The vessel holds both wet and dry labs, a dive ladder, A-frame and winch.