New Naval vessel makes a big splash in Moss Point

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - VT Halter Marine christened and launched the Navy's newest Oceanographic Survey Ship, Wednesday. Hundreds of military men and women, craftsmen, and locals gathered at the yard celebrate the creation of this $87 million U.S. Navy Vessel.

"This is a moment to validate phenomenal efforts of architects, administrators, builders of the USNS Maury," the Navy Chaplin prayed.

The ship is named after Matthew Fontaine Maury, better known as the father of Modern oceanography.

"Maury helped bring our nation to unprecedented levels of capability and understanding, while ultimately establishing the United States as a seafaring nation," VT Halter's CEO Bill Skinner said.

Just like her namesake, Navy officials said the ship is sophisticated and strong.

"Like no other oceanographic ship that has ever been built. It will do great work," Rear Admiral Jonathan White said.

The ship's sponsor is former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who had the honor of christening the ship with a bottle of champagne.

She agrees the vessel is vital to the Navy's missions. Because of the new technology, the Maury can gain knowledge and interpret the ocean environment faster and more effectively all around the world.

"Whether that be our change in climate, our changes in environment, pollution, or the life and breath of our ocean," Jackson said.

With a big splash, Maury hit the water and is now one step closer to helping keep our country safe at sea.

The Maury is the seventh vessel of her class. All the machinery still has to be tested on the ship along with other work before she is delivered in October.

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