Bethlehem Steel Christens Navy Oceanographic Survey Ship At Sparrows Point Shipyard

Also Dedicates New Drydock The USNS Maury, a sleek oceanographic survey ship nearing completion at Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point shipyard, was christened recently by Mrs. Dennis R. Shaw of Alexandria, Va.

Mrs. Shaw, who, as the ship sponsor, broke a bottle of champagne on the bow, is the wife of Dennis R. Shaw, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy for policy.

The Shaw's daughter, Jaimie, served as flower girl.

U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, R-Md., who worked with Bethlehem to obtain the $130-million, two-ship contract in 1985, was principal speaker at the christening.

"Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, in the mid-1800s, was this country's pioneer oceanographer," Rep. Bentley said. "It is very fitting that this first-of-its-class, ultramodern ship carry his name and chart the seas for a strong Navy." Other principals at the christening were Vice Adm. Walter T.

Piotti Jr., Commander, Military Sealift Command; Rear Adm. John R. Seesholtz, USN, Oceanographer of the Navy, who dedicated the keel for the Maury on July 29, 1986, and Joseph N. Shrader, Deputy Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command.

Also attending were Capt. Richard E. Westbrook, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, USN, Portsmouth, Va., and Capt. William C. Pfister, program manager, Auxiliary/Special Mission, Ship Acquisition Program, Naval Sea Systems Command.

Representing Bethlehem Steel were Robert M. Funk, general manager, steel-related group; David H. Klinges, president, marine construction division, and David Watson, general manager, Sparrows Point yard.

The Maury, with a 500-foot length, 72-foot beam and 30-foot draft, is scheduled to be delivered in July, followed by the delivery in December of its sister ship, the USNS Tanner, also under construction at the yard.

The ship will be used primarily to conduct ocean surveys and provide scientific data. A staff of more than 100 will include a crew of 56 from the Military Sealift Command, 32 U.S. Navy personnel and 20 scientific personnel.

Prior to the ceremony, Rep.

Bentley christened the yard's new floating drydock, named the Bethpride.

The 44,000-ton-capacity drydock was moved to Sparrows Point last year from the company's former Key Highway ship repair yard.

The drydock was reconditioned and is being leased from the Maryland Economic Development Corporation.

The first major repair job for the new facility was the drydocking of the USNS Zeus, a Navy cable-laying vessel, under a $1.8- million contract.

For free literature on the shipbuilding and ship-repairing capabilities of Bethlehem Steel-Sparrows Point shipyard, Circle 32 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 40,  Mar 1988

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