Sea History 172 - Autumn 2020

Page 54

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interlake steamship co.

A keel-laying ceremony was held on 24 June for what is believed to be the first new construction of a US-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier in more than 35 years. Jointly designed by Interlake Steamship Company and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (the keel-laying ceremony took place in Fincantieri’s Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, shipyard), the self-unloading bulk carrier will be 639 feet long and 28,000 DWT. Once completed in 2022, the Mark W. Barker—named for Interlake’s chairman’s son—will carry raw materials like salt, iron ore, and stone within the Great Lakes. Construction of the ship’s modular sections began nine months ago; the keel-laying ceremony is actually when the first modules are lowered into place in the graving dock. Said Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s vice president and general manager, Todd Thayse: “Our workforce is very proud to construct what will become a homeport ship. This large-scale bulk carrier is being built on the Great Lakes and will operate right here on the Great Lakes, which creates a sense of local and regional pride.” Other major partners in the project include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); ArcelorMittal; Bay Engineering; EMD Engines; Caterpillar; EMS-Tech, Inc.; Lufkin, Kongsberg and MacGregor. (The Interlake Steamship Company, 7300 Engle Road, Middleburg Heights OH 44130; Ph. 440 2606900; Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, http://, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, 605 North 3rd Avenue, Post Office Box 830, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235) … Just days before the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the heavy cruiser Indianapolis in World War II, the ship’s crew was recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal. In a virtual ceremony held on 24 July, House Speaker

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