April 1 - In the first of several vessel deliveries over the next few weeks, Crowley has christened and launched its newest heavy lift series deck barge, the 455-4 at Gunderson Marine Shipyard in Portland.

The first assignment for the barge, which is 400 ft long and 105 ft wide, will be hauling a Parker Drilling Rig, following which it will be turned over to a major energy company for work on the world's largest land-based rig in Alaska's North Slope at Satellite Drilling Island.

Crowley has plans to build up to 13 of these high-capacity barges by 2013. The heavy lift 455 series deck barges with 25 ft side shells provide both the capacity and deck strength needed to accommodate larger drilling and production units used for deepwater offshore energy exploration and development. They provide increased stability for loads up to 4,200 pds/sq ft.