Vessel will support marine science research for more than two dozen institutions and agencies across the State of Florida
TAMPA, Fla. (May 18, 2016) – The Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) and the University of South Florida (USF) System will host a “Launching and Christening Ceremony” at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23 in Tarpon Springs for a new research vessel, the R/V W.T. Hogarth, that will replace FIO’s nearly 50-year-old R/V Bellows. The new 78-foot vessel will be instrumental in helping academic researchers and marine science students study situations such as an oil spill or red tide outbreak.
The event will take place at Duckworth Steel Boats, the shipyard that is constructing the R/V W.T. Hogarth, located at 1051 Island Ave., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689.
The vessel’s name honors William T. Hogarth, who recently retired after a distinguished 50-year career that included serving as FIO director, dean for the USF College of Marine Science, interim regional vice chancellor of USF St. Petersburg, director of the National Marine Fisheries Service and chair of the International Whaling Commission. He also led the scientific response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“The R/V W.T. Hogarth will be a welcomed addition to FIO’s fleet that will provide exciting new technical capabilities to enable world-class research and educational opportunities that helps Florida understand and preserve its critical marine environment,” said FIO Director Philip Kramer.
During the 2016 Legislative Session, the Legislature appropriated and Governor Scott approved $3 million in state funding to match $3.3 million raised from FIO member institutions and the City of St. Petersburg to construct this new state of the art marine research vessel for the State of Florida.
Members of the Florida Legislature, as well as representatives from the City of St. Petersburg, FIO and several of its member institutions will be in attendance to celebrate the launching and christening of the R/V W.T. Hogarth.
Over the next four months, the new ship will undergo final outfitting of its state-of-the art equipment, testing of systems and sea trials before the vessel is operational. The home port for the R/V W.T. Hogarth will be at the USF College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg.
Parking for Tuesday’s event will be available on-site. Because the ceremony will take place outdoors under a tent in the dirt lot of a shipyard, guests are encouraged to wear appropriate footwear and attire for the location. The ceremony is expected to last approximately 30-45 minutes.
About the Florida Institute of Oceanography
FIO is a State University System of Florida Academic Infrastructure Support Organization, established by the Board of Governors and a consortium of 30 various scientific and educational resources. FIO is hosted by the University of South Florida.
About the University of South Florida System
The University of South Florida System is a high-impact, global research system dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The institutions are separately accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All institutions have distinct missions and their own detailed strategic plans. Serving over 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.