Florida's new state-of-the-art research vessel, R/V W. T. Hogarth, arrives in St. Petersburg
St Petersburg welcomes R/V W.T.Hogarth home to Bayboro Harbor
ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. -- Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) will welcome home the state-of-the-art R/V W. T. Hogarth to Bayboro Harbor on Monday, Oct. 23 at the Marine Exploration Center from 3-5 PM. Joining FIO will be the City of St. Petersburg, University of South Florida, and Eckerd College.
Built by Duckworth Steel Boats in Tarpon Springs, the 78- foot, 139-ton vessel is equipped with wet and dry labs on board, berths for 10 scientists and a crew of four. The vessel is outfitted with advanced marine technology, including dual head swath bathymetry (for bottom-mapping), fisheries eco-sounders, satellite internet link, and a dynamic positioning system.
The vessel replaces the 40-year-old R/V Bellowsin FIO’s fleet and was named after former FIO Director William T. Hogarth who retired in early 2017. Dr. Hogarth’s contributions to marine science and oceanography included serving as Dean of the USF College of Marine Science, Interim Regional Chancellor of USF St. Petersburg; Assistant Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and U.S. Commissioner and Chairman for both the International Whaling Commission and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna.
The R/V W.T. Hogarth will be subject to sea trials over the next few months before assuming her role as “Florida’s floating lab”, carrying students and researchers to sea. The vessel will be on display and open for tours to the public at major ports around the state of Florida for a limited time this fall and next spring. Port tour stops kickoff with the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show followed by stops in Ft. Pierce, Cape Canaveral, and more. Visit FIO’s website, follow @FIOTweet on Twitter or visit FIO’s page on Facebookfor dates and ports.
The 30-member FIO is an Academic Infrastructure Support Organization (AISO) established by the Florida Board of Governors and hosted by the University of South Florida to provide support and share marine science resources between the state’s universities and private, non-profit marine research entities. FIO also operates the R/V Weatherbird II and the Keys Marine Laboratory (KML)in Layton, Florida.
The Hogarth was constructed at a cost of $6.3 million with the majority ($3 million) coming from the State of Florida in 2016. The remaining matching funds came from the City of St. Petersburg; FIO; University of South Florida; University of West Florida; Florida Atlantic University; Florida Gulf Coast University; University of North Florida; University of Florida; Florida Institute of Technology; Eckerd College; Florida International University; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; Nova Southeastern; University of Central Florida; and Florida State University.
“Our marine science students consistently say that going out into the field, exploring the local waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, is the best part of their education” Eckerd College Professor of Marine Science David Hastings said. “This vessel enables students from all around Florida to explore and investigate the marine environment in their community.”