Crowley Maritime Corporation yesterday christened the Marty J, the first of three Heavy Lift 455 Series barges, which have been under construction at Gunderson Marine in Portland, Oregon
. The three 400-foot by 105-foot-wide deck barges are being built to be utilized for project work in the offshore energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico. The addition of these vessels will expand and keep current Crowley's fleet for customers of the company's marine services business segment.
During a ceremony held at Gunderson Marine on Northwest Front Avenue, Nicole Murphy, sister of Fontain Martin "Marty" Johnson III, christened the barge. The Marty J was so named as a tribute to Johnson, a nine-year Crowley employee who died while on a salvage assignment onboard the Cougar Ace in July of last year. The senior naval architect, had worked on many high profile projects for Crowley including the Ehime Maru, the set down of the Osprey, a nine-month project in the Sakhalin Islands and the Victoria M salvage with the U.S. Navy as well as the design of these new heavy lift barges.
"We are pleased to offer the Marty J into service in support of the deepwater exploration projects of our customers in the petroleum industry," said Tom Crowley, Jr., chairman, president and CEO. "The naming of this vessel serves as a tribute to one of our former employees who made such an impact on his co-workers, this company and the industry in which he was involved. We hope that his legacy will continue in these American-flagged vessels that he helped to design."
Crowley's new Heavy Lift 455 Series 400-foot by 105-foot-wide barges with 25-foot side shells will 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 will also be suitable for use in other regions, including Alaska, where Crowley has regularly performed summer sealifts to the North Slope.
Crowley expects to take delivery of the Marty J from the shipyard in about 10 days.