MV Ascension

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Career (United States[1]) U.S. Ensign
Owner: Sealift Incorporated[2]
Operator: Sealift Incorporated[2]
Port of registry: Dover, Delaware[1]
Route: Cape Canaveral, Florida to Ascension Island
Yard number: 90
Acquired: January 1, 1993[1]
Identification: Call sign WBAS[1]
Approximate route from Cape Canaveral to Ascension Island.
Approximate route from Cape Canaveral to Ascension Island.
Career (Russia[1]) Russian Ensign
Name: MV Chekov[1]
Builder: Sedef Gemi Insaati AS[1]
Yard number: 90
Acquired: January 1, 1993[1]
General characteristics
Tonnage: 3,972 GT[1]
Length: 90.0 m (295.3 ft) LBP[1]
Beam: 17.3 m (57 ft)[1]
Depth: 7.0 m (23.0 ft) molded depth[1]
Decks: single deck[3]
Ice class: IA[1]
Installed power: 2 auxiliary generators rated at 264 kW [4]
Propulsion: 6L35MC MAN B&W Diesel A/S[4]
Capacity: 4,152 DWT[1]
Complement: 16[5]
Notes: Two cargo cranes rated at 25 tonne SWL[6] Two general cargo holds.[3]

MV Ascension is an American-flagged general cargo and container ship with a capacity of 4,152 metric tons deadweight (DWT). Built in 1993, the ship was originally a Russian timber carrier. She was bought by Sealift Incorporated in 1998 and has been providing a cargo liner service between Cape Canaveral, Florida and Ascension Island ever since.


The ship was built in Turkey as the MV Chekov and originally used by Russian operators to carry timber.[5]

Sealift Incorporated bought the ship specifically for the Ascension Island liner service.[5] The first American crew embarked November 25, 1998 and the ship started its maiden voyage under the U.S.-flag on December 2, 1998.[5] Departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, the voyage took took 15 days at an average speed of 12.5 knots and covered 4426 nautical miles.[5] The voyage ended when the ship dropped anchor in Clarence Bay, Ascension on December 17, 1998.[5] The original contract was for a period of three years.[5]

On December 7, 1999 the Ascension rendered assistance to the French sailboat Seneca.[7] The sailboat was en route to Guadeloupe from France had been becalmed for three days.[7] In addition to providing 300 liters of fuel, the Ascension topped off the sailboat's water tank and provided cigarettes and soft drinks.[7]

Ship's complement

The ship's complement is the captain and members of the deck, engine, and steward's departments.[5] As of 1998, the deck department consisted of the chief mate, the second mate, four able seamen, and two ordinary seamen[5] The engine department consisted of the chief engineer, a first assistant engineer, a second assistant engineer, and 3 oilers.[5] The steward's department consisted solely of one chief steward.[5]

Route and cargo

The ship travels a dedicated liner route between Cape Canaveral, Florida and Ascension Island so as to arrive at the island at 60-day intervals.[5] Ascension Island lies in the South Atlantic Ocean, east from Brazil and around 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the coast of Africa. It is a dependency of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, which is 800 miles (1,287 km) to the south east. The Island is named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension Day.

The crew of the Ascension has assisted in green sea turtle research.

The cargo consists mainly of intermodal containers, refrigerated shipping containers, as well as break bulk cargo.[8] The ship also carries cargo for non-US, civilian customers[9] The unloading process can consist of over 100 separate lifts and take several days[10]

In addition to carrying cargo, the crew of the Ascension has assisted in green sea turtle research, delivering tagged animals about 200 miles off the coast.[10][11] Ascension is the most notable nesting ground for Chelonia mydas in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.[12] On Ascension, annual nesting occurs in the volume of around 6,000 to 13,000 individual turtle nests.[13][14][15]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 American Bureau of Shipping 2008, General Characteristics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 American Bureau of Shipping 2008, Owner/Manager Address.
  3. 3.0 3.1 American Bureau of Shipping 2008, Hull.
  4. 4.0 4.1 American Bureau of Shipping 2008, Machinery.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Haff 1998, M.V. Ascension.
  6. American Bureau of Shipping 2008, Lifting Equipment.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 American Maritime Officers 2000, Ascension Assists Boaters In Distress .
  8. Martin September 19, 1999, News from Ascension Auxiliary Airfield (AAF).
  9. Huxley 1999, From the Administrator's desk.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Martin December 23, 1999, News from Ascension Auxiliary Airfield (AAF).
  11. Broderick et al. 2002, p. 3.
  12. "Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)". North Florida Field Office. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  13. Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; et al. (2002). IUCN 2002 Red List Global Status Assessment: Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas). of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). pp. 93. 
  14. Godley, Brendan J.; Annette C. Broderick and Graeme C. Hays (February 2001). "Nesting of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Ascension Island, South Atlantic". Biological Conservation 97 (2): 151–158. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00107-5. 
  15. Broderick, Annette C.; Brendan J. Godley and Graeme C. Hays (2001). "Monitoring and conservation of marine turtles of Ascension Island: a sustainable resource". Interim Report to Foreign and Commonwealth Office Environment Fund for the Overseas Territories. pp. 13 pp.. 


External links

30px External images
16px MV Ascension photo at Sealift Inc.
16px Photo of the MV Ascension