Texas A&M University at Galveston has just taken delivery of a new $2.5 million research vessel: the R/V Trident. Constructed over the last year by GEO Shipyards in New Iberia, La., this state-of-the-art custom vessel will support the research, academic and training needs of the growing Galveston campus.
“This vessel represents the cutting-edge approach to research that Texas A&M at Galveston is known for, and I salute them for their innovative spirit and for the potentially life-changing results that will come from the research done with this vessel,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System.
The Trident supports a wide range of underwater exploration, including diving, subsea remote operating vehicles (ROV), flow-through water sampling, subsea geology coring and a host of others. It has capacity for 44 passengers within 20 miles of shore and eight scientists out to 200 miles from shore.
“Our mission is to serve the people of the State of Texas and this vessel will be a major step in helping us continue to achieve that goal,” said RADM Robert Smith III, CEO of Texas A&M Galveston.
“The RV Trident has abilities that exceed any in our fleet, both in research and educational capabilities as well as environmental impact. The vessel will be used with numerous marine biology and oceanographic academic labs to provide data to support research and learning. The Trident also will act as an underway terrestrial and electronic navigation lab for TAMUG Maritime Academy Midshipmen so they can practice the skills learned in the classroom in a high-impact learning environment in real time.”
“This new vessel will give us a host of opportunities to get out on the water and learn in the environment of the career field we will be entering. It just makes sense to graduate with real experience,” said Emily Brzozowske, Texas A&M-Galveston maritime administration student.
The Trident was conceived over two years ago as a replacement for vessels that were no longer adequate for the growing mission of this ocean-side campus. The Trident was designed in conjunction with Fyffe Yachts in Kemah, Texas with an emphasis on efficiency, durability and multi-mission capability. It is an all-aluminum 65-foot catamaran with a unique canoe hull and Z-bow configuration allowing it to slip through the water with ease. This will give the Trident a cruising speed of at least 15 knots with a low fuel consumption and an exhaust gas reduction of 60 percent from the current vessel. A Texas Emissions Reduction Grant was awarded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and will partially offset the cost of the vessel.
Texas A&M University-Galveston is the maritime and marine campus of Texas A&M University. It is a special-purpose institution offering academic programs, research and service in marine and maritime studies. The institution is home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, the only maritime academy located on the Gulf Coast. Texas A&M-Galveston’s Aggies, like their College Station counterparts, receive the Aggie Ring and a Texas A&M University diploma.
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