April 16, 2014
Contact: Shelley Dawicki
Former NOAA Ships have New Names and Missions
An image of a newly painted ship named Med Surveyor will be familiar to many at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and in the Northeast U.S. region. The vessel is the former NOAA Ship Delaware II, which ended 44 years of service to the NEFSC and the region in June 2012 at its homeport in Woods Hole before heading to Norfolk, Va. The ship was decommissioned September 28, 2012 at NOAA’s Marine Operations Center-Atlantic fleet facilities in Norfolk, where it remained until 2013.
The 155-foot fishery research vessel (IMO 7629946) was sold to the highest bidder through the General Services Administration (GSA) auction process. Four bids were received, ranging from $42,250 to $311,125 (U.S.), before the bidding closed May 31, 2013. The ship was sold to Vanity Fair Marine in Athens, Greece, and its name changed to Med Surveyor in August 2013. The ship was photographed at a marine railway in Perama, a suburb of Piraeus, Greece, in late January 2014 (see link below). R/V Med Surveyor flies the flag of the Cook Islands and is being used as a research and survey vessel.
Another ship operated by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) in support of the NEFSC, the 187-foot Albatross IV (IMO 7338690), was retired and decommissioned in a Woods Hole ceremony in November 2008 after 45 years of service. A few days later it departed Woods Hole for Norfolk and NOAA’s Marine Operations Center (MOC)-Atlantic fleet facility. It was also sold at auction to the international firm Maritech Engineering and Marine Project Services, the same firm that bought the Delaware II. The Albatross IV spent some time at a Jacksonville, Fl, shipyard before it was sold to Marpro LLC, an affiliate of Maritech, and moved to Baltimore. Marpro leased the ship briefly before selling it in 2013 to a Mexican university.
The ship’s name was changed in September 2013 from Albatross IV to UAT 1 CIDIPORT. The vessel is now owned and managed by the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT) in Tampico, Mexico, on the Gulf of Mexico coast and is sailing under the flag of Mexico.
To learn more about the former Albatross IV's current status, click here. A YouTube video (no narration or text), Albatros Ilega al puerto de Tampico, shows the ship’s arrival in the port of Tampico, Mexico. Another video, Buque UAT-1 CIDIPORT (narration and text in Spanish), features the university’s acquisition of the research vessel to explore the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Maritech is a privately owned and managed company with numerous affiliates throughout the world. Headquarters are located in Athens, Greece; the U.S. office is located in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
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