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Crowley Christens New Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) Tank Vessel, the Sea Reliance and 550-1

(New Orleans; April 25, 2002) – Crowley Maritime Corporation christened the first of four articulated tug-barge (ATB) tank vessels that the company will take delivery of this year. The vessels christened were the 9,280 HP-tug Sea Reliance and 155,000-barrel barge 550-1.

At ceremonies held on the Riverwalk at the New Orleans Hilton, Christine Sande Crowley, wife of Tom Crowley Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime, christened the Sea Reliance, and her mother, Linda Engle Sande, christened barge 550-1.

Intrepid Ship Management, a subsidiary of Marine Transport Lines, will charter the Halter Marine-built ATB from Vessel Management Services and operate it. Marine Transport is a Crowley subsidiary and part of its contract services segment.

“We are pleased to be the first company to build a petroleum barge under the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) SafeHull program,” Crowley said. “Under this program ABS puts the vessel design through an exhaustive review process, which examines in finite detail the areas of the structure subjected to stress under dynamic conditions. The design is then modified to strengthen areas found to be less than adequate. This up front engineering results in fewer out of service delays for the life of the vessel.”

“Not only have we built a double-hulled petroleum barge, but we’ve also built a double-sided tug for maximum safety and environmental protection,” he said.

“We are proud to have partnered with Crowley through a period of difficulty for Halter,” said Richard McCreary, president of Halter Marine. “The delivery and christening coincides with our reorganization of Halter Marine as an independent and restructured company.”

An ATB has an articulated, or hinged, connection system between the tug and barge, which allows movement in one axis, or plane in the critical area of fore and aft pitch.

The ATB tank vessel was jointly designed by Vessel Management Services and Halter Marine to incorporate the latest advances in environmental and safety while addressing increased efficiencies in hose handling, anchoring, mooring, discharge and loading of product. The barge 550-1 was built at Halter’s Port Bienville shipyard in Pearlington, Miss., and the Sea Reliance at its Moss Point Marine shipyard, in Escatawpa, Miss.

“Halter Marine is committed to continue its positive impact on the Gulf Coast,” said Anil Raj, Chief Operating Officer of Halter Marine. “This project has provided jobs for more than 200 of the most skilled engineers and craftsmen in the shipbuilding industry.”

Vessel Management Services will take delivery of an additional tug and barge from Halter and two tugs and two barges from The Manitowoc Company later this year. Each of the tugs and barges is being built to similar performance specifications as the Sea Reliance and barge 550-1.

The 550-1 is double hulled and the tug is double sided for maximum environmental protection and safety. The barge, built, documented and maintained to the requirements of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) SafeHull, has an inert gas system as well as an enhanced cargo system and a fully redundant ballast system.

The Sea Reliance meets all SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and ABS criteria, and has a foam capable fire monitor; twin fuel efficient, reduced emission electronic diesel engines; a noise reduction package and other upgrades to increase crew comfort. And the communication and navigation equipment is among the most technologically advanced in the industry today.

Halter Marine, Inc. is the largest builder of small- to medium-sized ships in the United States. The company is made up of multiple domestic locations strategically placed along the Gulf Coast and is also involved in several international joint ventures. The company builds a wide variety of oceangoing vessels such as patrol boats, oil recovery vessels, ferry boats, crew boats, drilling rigs, ocean barges, and luxury motor yachts.

Vessel Management Services, headquartered in Seattle, is a Crowley subsidiary that designs, engineers, constructs and maintains ownership of new vessels for charter. Its mission is to provide technologically advanced equipment to serve the needs of the industry in general and Crowley in particular. Over the years, it has built some of the most advanced tractor tugs in the world, which are now deployed by Crowley in Alaska, Washington and California.

Marine Transport, which got its start in 1816, is the oldest shipping company in the United States. The company operates a fleet totaling 42 ships for its own account and for other vessel owners. It owns and operates four chemical parcel carriers and time charters two others. It also owns seven product carriers and will begin operating four new ATBs this year with its Intrepid Ship Management subsidiary. Two of its large crude oil tankers are operated by others in the Alaska trade. In addition, Marine Transport manages seven U.S. flag commercial cargo vessels and 20 government vessels in several vessel management subsidiaries.

Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corp., founded in 1892, is primarily a family- and employee-owned company engaged in worldwide logistics, liner services, contract towing and transportation, energy support services, ship assist and escort services, vessel management and petroleum and chemical marine transport. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at

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