SOUTHPORT, NC - On December 22, after passing her sea trials and regulatory inspections, the newest vessel in Weeks Marine’s (“Weeks”) large and varied industrial work fleet, the Magdalen, was officially delivered by Eastern Shipbuilding just in time for the holidays. On December 28, she sailed from Panama City, FL on her maiden voyage to the East Coast.
The Magdalen is one of the two newest, and among the largest, hopper dredges in the U.S. She is self-propelled and will bring formidable pumping power to off-load beach quality sand or other materials for land reclamation.
“The Magdalen arrived this morning in Southport, NC, and is bringing on supplies and crew before going to work on one of the State’s most critical projects: the protection of Highway 12 in the Buxton area on North Carolina’s Outer Banks,” said Weeks’ Senior Vice President, Dredging Division, J. Stephen Chatry. “It is a good day for our company and for our customers.” “As the single largest investment in Weeks’ 99-year history, I am pleased that the Magdalen’s first project will be finishing up a vital project to North Carolina and to visitors from around the world,” said President Richard S. Weeks. “We are looking forward to observing her at work and integrating her into our dredging and marine construction family.”
“Weeks works hard to identify and understand growing markets in the US and is constantly evaluating new opportunities to meet new demand,” said Eric Ellefsen, Weeks’ Executive Vice President. “We are particularly attentive to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ program, and have been pleased by the strong growth in our second home, Louisiana, as the State fights coastal erosion and the loss of valuable wildlife habitat.”
The introduction of the Magdalen effectively doubles Weeks’ hopper dredging capacity, joining the RN Weeks and BE Lindholm, Weeks’ workhorse hopper dredges, whose combined hopper capacity is less than that of the new dredge. The Magdalen is dedicated to the domestic marketplace and was designed by leading world dredging experts for the conditions found here in the US.
“I want to congratulate Hans Blomberg, Weeks’ Project Manager; Eastern Shipbuilding; and all of our equipment team on the delivery of this new “game-changer” for our company,” said Charlie McCaskill, Vice President, Equipment. “We are all excited to see this world-class vessel in action.”
The Magdalen will be crewed by members of the International Union of Masters, Mates and Pilots. All 34 permanent seafaring jobs created are net new jobs as no vessel is being taken out of service. There are many additional direct family-wage jobs on the fill site, on any needed booster, as well as dedicated port engineers and onboard wildlife observers. On land, indirect jobs are created for subcontractors, for contract administrators, and for US shipyard workers.