ESG Delivers First Ollis-Class Vessel for Staten Island Ferries
Eastern Shipbuilding Group has completed the first of three new Ollis-class ferries for New York City's Staten Island Ferry service. The SSG Michael H. Ollis has departed ESG’s Port St. Joe Facility fully certified and passenger ready.
A tug from Dann Ocean Towing will tow the ferry from Port St. Joe to New York City. The trip will take about 12 days, and upon arrival in New York, the ferry will be staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of trials and training. She is scheduled to begin transporting passengers in the fall.
The Ollis-class ferries are named after fallen soldier of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis. Ollis, a Staten Island native, was killed shielding his fellow soldiers from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on August 28, 2013.
“We are proud to deliver Staten Island Ferry SSG Michael H. Ollis to New York City fully certified and passenger-ready. It is the first vessel of the modernized fleet and boasts the most advanced technology and environmental engineering in the maritime industry," said Joey D'Isernia, ESG's president. "It’s been an honor for Eastern to build this class named after one of our fallen heroes and deliver state of the art vessels for the world’s busiest passenger-ferry route."
ESG is providing production engineering, construction, and delivery of the three new EBDG-designed ferries, with the work primarily carried out at ESG's Allanton yard. The new outfitting facility in Port St. Joe is carrying out completion work after launch, along with testing and trials.
According to ESG, the new ferries are larger, incorporate modern technology and will operate more safely in extreme weather. For the first time, they will provide the Staten Island Ferry serivce with an oval upper-deck promenade, which will serve as an outdoor “walking track” for ferry riders.
In addition, there are design features on the vessels that reflect the city's emergency response plan. Lessons from 9/11 were built into this fleet, and they can be connected to the New York fire vessels - also built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group - to support evacuations and rescue.