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Marie Sullivan has a very important job to do on Monday, June 8.
The 94-year-old will smash a champagne bottle against the steel hull of the MV Calvert to officially christen the new addition to Ocean Choice International’s (OCI) fishing fleet.
The ceremony at the waterfront in St. John’s will be a celebration for the Sullivan family and the company owned by her sons, Blaine and Martin.
The name of the new ship pays homage to the small fishing community on the Southern Shore where the Sullivan family got their start in the fishing business.
Below: The MV Calvert arrives in St. John's on June 4
The new vessel sailed into St. John’s harbour on Thursday, completing her first ocean voyage, a 4,200-nautical-mile journey from her birthing place in the Middle East.
The Arctic-class vessel was designed by Skipsteknisk of Norway and built by Tersan in Turkey.
Company president Blaine Sullivan told SaltWire Network the Turkish shipyard was chosen to construct the ship because it has a good track record and success building factory freezer trawlers.
“In the last decade Tersan has built more freezer trawlers than any other yard in the world. It’s a very cost-effective place to build a ship there,” he said. “They deliver their ships on time.”
Sullivan noted two St. John’s-based companies were also involved in constructing the vessel.
C&W Industrial Fabrication built the processing facility onboard the ship, and the electrical design was done by Pennecon Electrical.
The trawler is the largest vessel in the OCI fleet, and the first one it has had built. It’s also the newest groundfish vessel to join the Canadian offshore sector since the mid-1980s.
OCI says the vessel will create 70 year-round full-time jobs, generating $7 million in annual salaries and another $13 million in economic spinoff for businesses in the province.
Taking the helm of the MV Calvert is a man who has been on the sea for 45 years.
Mike Hamer started his marine career with the Canadian Coast Guard when he was 17.
For the past 15 years he has been captain of OCI’s groundfish vessel, the MV Katsheshuk II.
In a news release issued by the company, Hamer stated he is excited to take command of the new ship.
He was at the wheel guiding the MV Calvert on its inaugural journey from Turkey to St. John’s.
“Being part of the team responsible for the new vessel is one of the highlights of my time at sea,” he said.
The MV Calvert will fish mainly yellowtail flounder and redfish.
The new trawler also has a green designation, thanks to the energy-efficient features that were included in the design and construction.
For example, Sullivan told SaltWire Network, energy from the winch created as they are setting and retrieving the trawl will also provide power to the onboard systems.
As the winch spins, he explained, it generates energy. That energy will be used to help power the LED light system.
They also have an SCR system onboard to scrub the exhaust.
“So we’ll have less omissions than on a normal vessel,” Sullivan said.
The company says its investments in green technology will save up to 2,800,000 kWh of energy and over 519 tons of fuel annually.
The MV Calvert will start fishing later this month.
But first, on Monday, there’s a bottle of champagne to crack open against the hull and a blessing by a priest, Father Kenneth Walsh, in an ages-old marine tradition meant to bring good luck and smooth sailing for new boats.
ABOUT THE MV CALVERT
Designed by Skipsteknisk in Norway
Built by Tersan in Turkey
Onboard processing facility built by NL company C&W Industrial Fabrication
Sixth vessel for the OCI fleet
74 meters long, weighing 3,800 gross tonnes
Freezer cargo hold, 1,700 m3
Oct. 9, 2017 - OCI’s first visit to Tersan shipyard in Turkey
Feb. 20, 2018 - OCI signs contract for construction
Sept. 27, 2018 - First steel cut
July 16, 2019 - Vessel launched at the shipyard in Turkey
Sept, 2019 - Installation of factory begins
Jan. 18, 2020 - Sea trials begin
May 15, 2020 - Company officially takes possessions
May 19, 2020 - Crew leaves Turkey to sail to St. John’s
June 4, 2020 - Arrival in St. John’s
June, 8, 2020 - Official christening