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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Blount Delivers Buoy Tender/icebreaker to Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 28, 2022

Eddie Somers (Photo: Blount Boats)

Eddie Somers (Photo: Blount Boats)

Warren, R.I. shipbuilder Blount Boats announced it has delivered a new buoy tender/ice breaker built for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Eddie Somers was handed over on May 19 at Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield, Md. The 94- by 227-foot shallow draft vessel will replace the J. Milliard Tawes, which has been in service for nearly 50 years.

Designed by BMT Designers and Planners, the Eddie Somers is powered by Cummins QSK19, Tier III marine engines, each producing 750HP at 1,800RPM, Twin Disc MGX-5202SC marine generator sets and, two 42x27, 5 blade NIBRAL propellers. In addition, the vessel is equipped with a 5-ton knuckle boom crane for buoy and debris removal applications.

The boat will serve as the primary icebreaking asset for Crisfield Harbor and Smith Island, in addition to placing buoys and performing other functions. As was the M/V Tawes, the M/V Somers will also be a lifeline to Smith Island when the waters surrounding it freeze over, with the boat clearing a path for supply and shuttle boats. By cooperative agreement with Virginia through the U.S. Coast Guard, the M/V Somers will also provide this service to Tangier Island in Virginia when requested. During heavy ice seasons, all food, fuel, medicine, and emergency transport going to and from the islands are supplied by the vessel.

The Department’s Hydrographic Operations team, based on the Eastern Shore, operates four large boats that perform various duties throughout the Chesapeake Bay. The Department’s boats are shallow draft, meaning they can get into rivers and shallow areas of the Bay.

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