New Launch Vessel For San Francisco Area

The newly formed California Launch Service Corporation christened its first launch vessel on June 14, in ceremonies at the St.

Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif.

Rees B. Williams Jr., president of the firm, headquartered in San Francisco, said the company received authorization to operate as a common carrier earlier this year from the California Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Williams explained the new vessel, designated the California Pilot, will be used to transport ship pilots, steamship agents, crews and customs personnel to and from ships at anchorage in the San Francisco Bay.

California Launch is an operating subsidiary of Willamette- Western Corporation of Portland, Ore., which has operated a similar launch service in the Port of Portland for some 40 years.

Mr. Williams pointed out that the California Pilot, the newest addition to the "service vessel" fleet in the Bay Area, contains the most modern of navigational equipment. It is 44 feet long, has a 15-foot beam, 4 - f o o t 4-inch draft, and is a twin-screw vessel of 740 horsepower.

"The new launch service will be a valuable addition to Willamette- Western's overall marine services and transportation in the Bay Area," Mr. Williams stated.

"Western Tug & Barge Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, and also a division of our parent company in Portland, presently performs ship assisting general towing and barging, marine equipment charters, and marine equipment storage. Therefore, it is only natural that, with the approval granted by the State of California, that we enter into the launch service phase of shipping in order to better serve our shipping customers." California Launch Service Corporation also operates a chartered vessel, Inland Pilot, from its base at Pier 9 in San Francisco.

Willamette-Western Corporation has offices in Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Richmond, and Long Beach, Calif.; Seattle and Pasco, Wash.; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Corporate capabilities include heavy marine construction such as piers, docks, dams and other large concrete structures; steel erection; production and sales of sand, gravel, concrete and asphalt products; marine towing and barging; drilling ; sub-surface foundation work; clamshell and hydraulic dredging; installation of marine pipelines; and environmental services, including oil and hazardous materials spill control and cleanup.

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