Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. Launches the A. Thomas Higgins For E.N. Bisso & Son, Inc.

First Sanmar delivery to SAAM Towage
Delivery of MED-A2360 series tugboat to Abu Dhabi ports was completed

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the launching of the second of two (2) 80’ 5,100 HP Z-Drive Tugs, the A. THOMAS HIGGINS for Bisso Offshore, LLC, a division of E.N. Bisso & Son, Inc. Launched on January 31, 2020. The RAL RApport 2400 Z-Drive Ship-handling Tug design was provided by Robert Allan Ltd located in Vancouver, Canada. The A. THOMAS HIGGINS is currently under construction at Eastern’s Allanton facility. The C.D. WHITE, the first vessel of the series, delivered in January of this year.

The launch ceremony was held at Eastern’s Allanton facility hosted by Patrick D’Isernia, Eastern’s Project Manager. Brian D’Isernia, Eastern’s Owner and CEO and Joey D’Isernia, Eastern’s President, along with several of Eastern employees and guests in attendance. From E.N. Bisso & Son attendees included A. Thomas “Tommy” Higgins (sponsor’s spouse and namesake), Colin Macpherson (Exec. VP), Casey Willis (CFO), Mike Killelea (Port Captain) and Dwayne Brady (Port Engineer).  Father Kevin McQuone of St. John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church of Panama City blessed the vessel. Elizabeth “Liz” Higgins christened the A. THOMAS HIGGINS as the vessel’s sponsor.

E.N. Bisso & Son is one of Eastern’s long term valued customers and has taken delivery of five (5) previous Z-drive Ship Assist Tugs from Eastern starting in 2007 (JOSEPHINE ANNE, BEVERLY B., ELIZABETH B., ARCHIE T. HIGGINS, and C.D. WHITE). This sixth vessel and second new Robert Allan RApport 2400 design tug has been customized by the designer, the builder, and owner to provide specific operational features including 65+ ton bollard pull, enhanced maneuverability and escort performance, better fuel economy, crew comfort, safety under the new USCG Sub-M requirements, and reduced emissions meeting the new EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations.

Colin Macpherson spoke about their customers onboard reactions and being very impressed with each vessel’s construction quality and ongoing maintenance even as far back as the JOSEPHINE ANNE; which delivered over thirteen years ago.  “I think it is of particular note, that these two vessels have been built at a period in time when you all have come through that bad storm, Michael, and have been impacted by it. We are very well aware of that. We want to thank each and every one of you for the travails you have endured while remaining dedicated to the project on hand. We really, really appreciate that.”  The first RAL 5,100 HP tug the C.D. WHITE was working ships on the Mississippi River prior to arriving dockside at the E.N. Bisso Fleet in New Orleans, LA.  Colin addressed the crowd, thanking Eastern’s workforce of skilled craftsman, supervision staff, management, the long-term relationship sharing their belief in quality craftsmanship first.

Liz Higgins with a mighty swing broke the christening bottle on the first try to begin the launching of the vessel.  The boat is named after her husband A. Thomas “Tommy” Higgins.

The RApport 2400 Ship Handling Tugs features the following characteristics:

Dimensions (Molded):                    80’-0 x 38’-0 x 13’-2”

ESG Designation:                               Hull 226

Fuel Oil:                                              28,000 USG

DEF/Urea:                                          (2) x 850 USG

Potable Water:                                  8,750 USG

Total Horsepower:                            (2) x 2,549 HP @ 1,800 RPM

Bollard Pull (Predicted):                   65 Tons

Main Engines:                                    (2) LA CAT, Caterpillar 3512E Tier 4 EPA/IMO III marine propulsion diesel engines

Main Propulsion:                              (2) Kongsberg/Rolls Royce US205 P20 Z-Drives

Main Generators:                             (2) Kennedy Engines Co. John Deere 4045AFM85 Tier 3 EPA certified Marine Auxiliary Diesel Generator Set, each rated at 99kW @ 1,800 RPM

Firefighting:                                       (1) Counterfire ES-125-400, 1,500 gpm at 100 psi, diesel engine driven and 4” Stang remote controlled fire monitor

Forward Hawser Winch:                  (1) Markey Machinery, Inc. Model DEPCF-42 HS, Single Drum 40HP, Render/Recovery, Line Tension Display, Electric Escort Hawser Winch

Aft Capstan:                                       (1) Markey Machinery, Inc. CEPB-40 5HP Tow Bitt Capstan

Tow Hook:                                         (1) Washington Chain & Supply 90 Ton SWL tow hook, electric-air remote control, manual or remote release.

Regulatory:                                        USCG Sub-M, Certificate of Inspection (COI) (Oceans), Designed and Built to ABS Class standards (but not classed under ABS rules)

Flag:                                                   United States of America