NOAA has awarded a $13.1 million contract to Vigor Marine, LLC, in Portland, Ore., to perform major repairs and upgrades to the NOAA hydrographic survey vessel Rainier.
The year-long project, which received $7.1 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will start this fall and includes:
• structural repairs to the ship
• installation of updated hydrographic survey systems
• replacement of davits and other deck machinery
• refitting of living and berthing spaces
• upgrades to machinery control systems, power generation machinery and the ship's steering system
• and general maintenance and preservation work.
The project is part of NOAA's effort to modernize the agency's fleet.
"This project will extend the service life of the NOAA Ship Rainier, create jobs and help the economy," said Rear Adm. Jonathan W. Bailey, director of NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Corps. "This vessel is one of the world's most productive hydrographic survey vessels and will play a major role in helping NOAA support safe and efficient navigation."
The 231-ft. Rainier has been surveying the U.S. Pacific coast since 1968 in support of NOAA's nautical charting program. The ship's sophisticated seafloor mapping systems allow researchers to gather detailed information about the ocean bottom, including potential hazards to navigation. Rainier carries six 30-ft. aluminum survey launches and two 19-ft. skiffs that allow for surveys of shallow, near-shore waters.
Rainier's recent projects include a survey of uncharted waters in Alaska's Pavlof Islands, approximately 350 nautical miles southwest of Kodiak Island, and a joint project in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, with the NOAA Ship Fairweather, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and other state and local laboratories and reserves. Rainier supported the study of local fishery habitats and acquired data needed to update nautical charts for the area.
Homeported in Seattle, Wash., Rainier is operated by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.