Point Sur begins trek through Panama Canal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Point Sur begins trek through Panama Canal

Excitement abounded on the University of Southern Mississippi's newest research vessel Saturday as it began its trip through the Panama Canal. Photo Source WDAM Excitement abounded on the University of Southern Mississippi's newest research vessel Saturday as it began its trip through the Panama Canal. Photo Source WDAM
Excitement abounded on the University of Southern Mississippi's newest research vessel Saturday as it began its trip through the Panama Canal.

It was a picturesque setting, truly, for the celebratory transit. USM President Dr. Rodney Bennett, USM Vice President of Research Dr. Gordon Cannon and other stakeholders watched the boat begin its journey as the sun set over the harbor on the Pacific side of the Canal.

"I think it's the most awesome thing ever," said a speechless Chairman of USM's Department of Marine Science Dr. Monty Graham.

Bennett and Cannon watched the 135-foot vessel from the bow as it left the harbor for an overnight trip through the first set of locks in the Canal.

"It's an incredible feeling to know that we are making our way down toward the Panama Canal and that this awesome vessel will soon be in Gulfport and the University of Southern Mississippi can continue the excellent work that it is doing in ocean science," said Bennett. "Just a proud moment for me as president and all these people that love USM."

As the vessel, which will expand oceanographic research for the University and other entities, made its way to the first lock of the Canal, a crew of line handlers hopped on to catch lines from the locomotives on top of the lock on either side. The lines connect from the locomotive to the ship in order to keep it balanced in the middle of the lock while the water pours in to fill the lock.

"It's very simple, the work, but it's so dangerous," explained line handler Humberto.

Humberto has worked on the canal as a line handler for two years, and he said he has seen coworkers' legs or hands injured due to the strenuous, yet necessary, work.

An addition to the Canal will open next year, according to the Canal's executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Management Ilya Marotta, and it will use tug boats instead of locomotives.

The crew from USM will continue part of the ship's journey down the Panama Canal Sunday and will return the following day. The Point Sur will arrive in Gulfport in approximately one week, where it will be housed at the State Port at Gulfport.

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved.
  • NEWSMore>>

  • breaking

    IHL board approves USM academic reorganization plan

    IHL board approves USM academic reorganization plan

    Thursday, August 17 2017 1:08 PM EDT2017-08-17 17:08:33 GMT

    The University of Southern Mississippi is one step closer to implementing a reorganization plan.  

    More >>

    The University of Southern Mississippi is one step closer to implementing a reorganization plan.  

    More >>
  • Edgewater Mall to give away 2,000 pairs of eclipse glasses

    Edgewater Mall to give away 2,000 pairs of eclipse glasses

    Thursday, August 17 2017 12:45 PM EDT2017-08-17 16:45:53 GMT
    (Photo source: Pixabay)(Photo source: Pixabay)

    If you're still looking for glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse, Edgewater Mall is the place you want to be Friday.

    More >>

    If you're still looking for glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse, Edgewater Mall is the place you want to be Friday.

    More >>
  • Man charged in Escatawpa convenience store holdup

    Man charged in Escatawpa convenience store holdup

    Thursday, August 17 2017 12:41 PM EDT2017-08-17 16:41:03 GMT
    LaLeon Smothers (Photo source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department)LaLeon Smothers (Photo source: Jackson County Sheriff's Department)

    The man accused of robbing an Escatawpa convenience store at gunpoint Monday is also a suspect in an armed robbery in Mobile, AL, according to Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.

    More >>

    The man accused of robbing an Escatawpa convenience store at gunpoint Monday is also a suspect in an armed robbery in Mobile, AL, according to Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly