MV Carolyn Chouest

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MV Carolyn Chouest with NR-1.
Career (USA)
Name: Carolyn Chouest
Owner: Edison Chouest Offshore[1]
Builder: North American Shipbuilding
In service: as MV Carolyn Chouest in 1994
Status: Currently in service
Notes: Leased to the Military Sealift Command (MSC), contractor operated and controlled
General characteristics
Type: ocean surveillance ship
Displacement: 1599 ton
Length: 238'
Beam: 52'
Draft: 17'
Installed power: two 12-cylinder Caterpillar diesel engines providing a total of 10,800 horsepower
Propulsion: two Kort Nozzle variable pitch propellers
Speed: 17 knots
Armament: none

MV Carolyn Chouest is a chartered submarine support ship for the U.S. Navy assigned to the Special Missions Program to support the NR-1 Deep Submergence Craft. She tows the NR-1 between work areas, serves as a floating supply warehouse and provides quarters for the extra crewmembers.

Operational history

November 1999, Carolyn Chouest assisted recovery efforts after the EgyptAir Flight 990 airplane crash 60 miles south of Nantucket, MA. She provided underwater mapping of the debris field using the side-scan sonar and recorded underwater video of the site with the ROV Magnum.[2]

February 2002, the Navy's special purpose research submarine NR-1 and Carolyn Chouest helped archeologists to chart the USS Monitor, the Navy's first ironclad warship, as she rest 250' below the sea. [3]

October 2004, Carolyn Chouest helped tow HMCS Chicoutimi back to Faslane, after a fire on board the Canadian submarine killed one crewman and injured two, 100 miles off Ireland. [4]

December 2006, the fast-attack submarine, USS Pittsburgh resurfaced during sea trials after a 25-year-old Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employee began having neurological problems. He was safely transferred to Carolyn Chouest and continued to receive treatment by Pittsburgh's corpsman until medevaced by a Coast Guard helicopter. [5]

March 2007, NR-1 and Carolyn Chouest under the direction of oceanographer Robert Ballard began mapping the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to help scientists determine where early Americans might have lived when, at the height of the last ice age, sea levels were nearly 400 feet lower than they are today. [6]


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