NOAA 2005-R806
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
NOAA News Releases 2005
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today transferred ownership of Whiting, a decommissioned hydrographic survey ship, to the Mexican Navy upon authority of Congress and by order of the Secretary of Commerce. The transfer took place during a special ceremony at Town Point Park, Otter Berth, in Norfolk, Va.

At the ceremony, the vessel was accepted by Vice Admiral Edgar F. Narro y Quesda, director general de investigacion y dessarollo, who was the senior representative of the Mexican Navy. The ship was then recommissioned Rio Tuxpan.

“For years, Whiting supported NOAA’s mission to promote safe navigation,” said Rear Admiral Samuel P. De Bow Jr., NOAA, director of the NOAA Commissioned Officers Corps and NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations, which operates, manages and maintains the NOAA fleet. “We replaced her with a former Navy hydrographic survey ship two years ago as part of our fleet modernization program. We’re delighted Whiting now will be of service to the Mexican Navy.”

Whiting was decommissioned in 2003. Until then, the ship conducted hydrographic surveys of U.S. coastal waters to determine least water depths and locate obstructions on the sea floor and other dangers to navigation.

Whiting will be Mexico’s first dedicated hydrographic survey vessel, and will significantly contribute to that country’s mapping and charting capabilities,” said Captain Roger L. Parsons, NOAA, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. Parsons is also the National Hydrographer of the United States. “We are looking forward to collaboration in hydrographic activities between our two nations. The transfer is part of our cooperative efforts to share data and resources,” he added.

The legislative authority for the Secretary of Commerce to transfer Whiting to Mexico stipulates that the ship support hydrographic activities of the U.S.-Mexico Charting Advisors Committee and enhance the two countries’ cooperation regarding surveying and charting activities in the border waters of both countries in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Pacific Ocean.

The United States and Mexico plan hydrographic efforts together via the United States-Mexico Cooperative Charting Advisory Committee. In an effort to make surveying and nautical charting operations more compatible, the International Hydrographic Organization’s MesoAmerican-Caribbean Sea Regional Hydrographic Commission established the committee in 2002 to promote coordination of respective requirements. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey represents the United States on this committee. Specific areas of collaboration include hydrographic survey data acquisition and exchange, tidal and current data harmonization, and hydrographic and cartographic personnel exchanges.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events, promoting safe commerce and transportation, and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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