NOAA 99-R822
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
6/11/99

NOAA SHIP RUDE SURVEYS MONTAUK HARBOR AND BLOCK ISLAND SOUND

Montauk-area mariners will soon be able to get a new chart of Montauk Harbor.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship Rude (pronounced Rudy) is currently surveying Montauk Harbor as well as completing hydrographic surveys between Montauk Point and Block Island that began last summer. Rude is identifying the location of boulders, wrecks and other hazards to navigation absent from current charts in addition to determining the exact depths of dangerous rocks off of Montauk Point.

At the request of the U.S. Coast Guard, the 90-foot research vessel is using highly sophisticated sonar systems to chart the approaches to Montauk Harbor while its 21-foot launch is surveying the inside of the harbor. Rude's three types of sonar — vertical, side scan, and multi-beam — not only locate and determine least depths, but also identify contacts on the sea floor by producing picture-like images.

Conducting these hydrographic surveys will ensure safe navigation for Coast Guard vessels frequently entering Montauk Harbor for fuel and logistics, and will provide data needed for a 1:7,500-scale inset on the nautical chart. Commercial fishing boats and large yachts use the harbor for year-around mooring and for refuge when weather conditions require storm-avoidance actions. Rude's work is vital to the economy of various fisheries, especially the lobster industry, where pollution from any grounding source would adversely affect the fisheries in nearby communities.

After completing its work in Montauk Harbor and Block Island Sound at the end of August, Rude will survey the approaches to Northville frequented by deep-draft oil tankers.

As part of the NOAA fleet of research ships and aircraft, Rude is operated and managed by the Office of NOAA Corps Operations, composed of civilians and commissioned officersThe NOAA Corps is a uniformed service of the United States, composed of officers – all scientists or engineers – who provide NOAA with an important blend of operational, management and technical skills that support the agency's programs at sea, in the air, and ashore. Rude is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Verlaque, NOAA Corps.