Crowley Maritime Corp. christened the latest of its four tugboats in the ocean-class series, Ocean Sun, yesterday in Lake Charles, La. The ceremony served to formally welcome the fourth dynamic positioning 2 (DP2) tugboat to the company’s expanded ocean towing fleet, which has been involved in most of the major offshore oil production installations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico over the past 18 months.

“Today we are pleased to formally welcome the latest of our four Jones Act ocean-class tugboats to the fleet and culminate this multi-year build program,” said Tom Crowley, chairman and CEO. “These boats, along with their exceptional crews, have consistently met and exceeded the expectations of our energy customers doing business in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We look forward to many years of service from these powerful and reliable cornerstone vessels.”

The Ocean Sun, which features DP2 technology, is part of a feature-rich, four-vessel family of tugs ideally suited to work with Crowley's new 455 series high-deck strength barges, which measure 400'x105'. Crowley’s ocean-class tugs are outfitted for long-range, high-capacity ocean towing, rig moves, platform and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit tows, emergency response and firefighting.

All four of the ocean-class tugboats are designed to have a minimum bollard pull of 150 metric tons and a range of approximately 12,600 NM at 15 knots free running. They are outfitted with twin-screw, controllable-pitch propellers in nozzles and high lift rudders for a combination of performance and fuel economy.

During the first-ever pairing of all four ocean-class tugs, Ocean Wave, Ocean Wind, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun worked together to tow the 120,000 ton TLP Olympus for 425 miles from Ingleside, Texas, to her final location in more than 3,000' of water. Later the quad towed, moored and made storm-safe the Jack/St. Malo topside at a depth of 7,000' and moved Delta House floating production platform and Chevron’s TLP Bigfoot. Three of the tugs, Ocean Wave, Ocean Wind and Ocean Sun, also towed the 605'x110' Lucius spar for Anadarko Petroleum from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Keathley Canyon Block 875 some 300 miles offshore. Plus, Ocean Wind towed the production deck of Saipem’s Tubular Bells topside also in the Gulf of Mexico.