Thursday, January 12, 2017
Marine Patrol Chief Keith Davis spoke about the purchase of the custom AMBAR as a project of MDMR's Joint Enforcement Agreement with the federal government.
Joe Jewell, MDMR's director of the Office of Marine Fisheries spoke about the Conservationist, an oyster lugger acquired by the state in 1974 for only $80,000. In 2014, the lugger experienced mechanical failure and a $30,000 Tidelands grant was awarded to make repairs. The retail value of a boat like the Conservationist in 2017 is estimated to be around $1.2 million.
The respectable Reverend Kenneth Davis, pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, blessed both vessels, and champagne was poured on them as part of the ceremonial ship launching.
The Reverend specifically asked God for protection for all aboard and prosperity for every mission. After a blessing like that, the natural next step was to break them in! Governor Phil Bryant and others took a short tour in the Admiral Dewey, venturing not too far from port. Observers boarded the Conservationist.
In lieu of life jackets for this special event....