Crowley Maritime Corporation Saturday christened and launched barge 455-2, the second of three Heavy Lift 455 Series flat-deck barges that will be built and delivered to Crowley this year by Gunderson Marine in Portland, Oregon. The three 400-foot by 105-foot-wide deck barges are being built to handle project work for the offshore energy industry - primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. The addition of these vessels helps to expand and keep current Crowley's fleet for customers of the company's marine services business segment. During the ceremony held Saturday at Gunderson on Northwest Front Avenue, Karen Harland, the wife of Bruce Harland, vice president of Crowley's Alaska operations, christened the barge. Crowley's new Heavy Lift 455 Series barges with 25-foot side shells provide both the capacity and deck strength needed to accommodate the favored larger units for offshore exploration and development. The barges offer increased stability for loads up to 4,200 pounds per square foot in order to carry the larger offshore structures now being planned and engineered for deepwater projects. The barges are also suitable for use in other regions, including Alaska, where Crowley has regularly performed summer sealifts to the North Slope. Crowley expects to formally take delivery of barge 455-2 from the shipyard in about 10 days, and plans to receive the third barge in the series later this year. The first barge in the series - the Marty J - was christened and launched in January.