Weeks Marine's brand new hopper dredge Magdalen was delivered on
December 22, 2017 by Eastern Shipbuilding after successfully
completing sea trials and U.S. Coast Guard inspections.
Commenting on Weeks Marine's new hopper dredge Magdalen, William
P. Doyle CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors
of America (DCA) said, "This is great news, a terrific capital
investment. Weeks is an American company, hiring American workers
and building vessels in U.S. shipyards."
"As the single largest investment in Weeks' 99-year history, I am
pleased that the Magdalen's first project will be finishing up a
vital project to North Carolina and to visitors from around the
world," said President Richard S. Weeks. "We are looking forward
to observing her at work and integrating her into our dredging
and marine construction family."
The Magdalen set sail last week on its maiden voyage from Panama
City to Southport, N.C.
The Magdalen arrived on January 2, 2018 to Southport, N.C., "and
is bringing on supplies and crew before going to work on one of
the State's most critical projects: the protection of Highway 12
in the Buxton area on North Carolina's Outer Banks," said Weeks'
Senior Vice President, Dredging Division, J. Stephen Chatry. "It
is a good day for our company and for our customers."
"Weeks Marine, like all the member dredging companies of the DCA,
answer the call - replenishing our beaches, rebuilding our
wetlands and barrier islands, allowing families to enjoy outdoor
conservation and recreational activities," Doyle said.
The Magdalen is one of the two newest, and among the largest,
hopper dredges in the U.S. It is a self-propelled vessel that
brings formidable pumping power to off-load beach quality sand or
other materials for land reclamation.
According the County of Dare, N.C., beach nourishment is the
process of pumping sand onto an eroding shoreline to widen the
existing beach. Sources of sand may include a nearby sandbar, a
dredged source such as an inlet or waterway, or an offshore
borrow site along the ocean floor. The widened shoreline provides
increased defense from coastal storms and beach erosion
protecting property, communities and infrastructure located along
Highway 12 is the only north-south roadway along North Carolina's
Outer Banks. This highway serves as a vital connection for
residents and tourists from the northernmost point in Corolla
south to Cedar Island on the mainland.
"Weeks works hard to identify and understand growing markets in
the U.S. and is constantly evaluating new opportunities to meet
new demand," said Eric Ellefsen, Weeks' Executive Vice President.
"We are particularly attentive to the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers' program, and have been pleased by the strong growth in
our second home, Louisiana, as the State fights coastal erosion
and the loss of valuable wildlife habitat."
The introduction of the Magdalen effectively doubles Weeks'
hopper dredging capacity, joining the RN Weeks and BE Lindhol,
Weeks' workhorse hopper dredges, whose combined hopper capacity
is less than that of the new dredge. The Magdalen is dedicated to
the domestic marketplace and was designed by leading world
dredging experts for the conditions found here in the U.S.
"I want to congratulate Hans Blomberg, Weeks' Project Manager;
Eastern Shipbuilding; and all of our equipment team on the
delivery of this new "game-changer" for our company," said
Charlie McCaskill, Vice President, Equipment. "We are all excited
to see this world-class vessel in action."
The Magdalen will be crewed by members of the International
Union of Masters, Mates and Pilots. All 34 permanent seafaring
jobs created are net new jobs as no vessel is being taken out
of service. There are many additional direct family wage jobs
on the fill site, on any needed booster, as well as dedicated
port engineers and onboard wildlife observers. On land,
indirect jobs are created for subcontractors, for contract
administrators, and for U.S. shipyard workers.
The Honorable William P. Doyle is Executive Director and
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dredging Contactors of
America (DCA). He was formerly Commissioner with the U.S. Federal
Maritime Commission. Doyle served over a decade as an officer in
the U.S. Merchant Marine as an engineer aboard numerous classes
of vessels. He is a licensed attorney and marine engineer. A
graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, he also earned
his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law.