NOAAS McArthur (S 330)

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NOAAS McArthur (S 330).jpg
NOAAS McArthur (S 330) sometime between 1970 and 2003
Career (United States) U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey flag.png 60px
Name: McArthur
Namesake: William Pope McArthur (1814-1850), a United States Coast Survey officer who pioneered hydrographic survey work on the United States West Coast
Builder: Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Norfolk, Virginia
Laid down: 15 July 1965
Launched: 15 November 1965
Commissioned: 15 December 1966
Decommissioned: 20 May 2003
Homeport: Seattle, Washington
Nickname: "Mini-Mac" (after commissioning of the larger NOAAS McArthur II (R 330), known as "Big Mac," in May 2003)[1]
Fate: Sold to Blackwater Worldwide 2006
Notes: Served in U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey 1966-1970
Served in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 1970-2003
Has served as Blackwater Worldwide training ship McArthur since 2007
General characteristics
Type: McArthur-class hydrographic survey ship
Tonnage: 854 gross register tons; 207 net register tons
Displacement: 995 tons (full load)
Length: 175 ft (53 m)
Beam: 38 ft (12 m)
Draft: 12.1 ft (3.7 m)
Installed power: 1,600 horsepower (2.1 megawatts)
Propulsion: Two General Motors diesel engines, twin controllable-pitch propellers, 186 tons fuel
Speed: 12 knots
Range: 6,000 nautical miles at 12 knots
Endurance: 17 days
Complement: Either 23 (6 officers and 17 crew) plus up to 13 scientists[2] or 38 (8 NOAA Corps officers, 3 licensed engineers, and 27 other crew, plus up to 2 scientists[3]
Notes: 440 kilowatts electrical power; Hydroplot PDP 11/34 computer

NOAAS McArthur (S 330), originally the second USC&GS McArthur (MSS 22), was a survey ship in service with the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1966 to 1970 and with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1970 to 2003.

Construction and commissioning

USC&GS McArthur (MSS 22) in U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey service sometime between 1966 and 1970.

McArthur was laid down on 15 July 1965 by the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at Norfolk, Virginia, and launched on 15 November 1965. She entered service with the Coast and Geodetic Survey on 15 December 1966 as USC&GS McArthur (MSS 22). When the Coast and Geodetic Survey merged with other agencies to form NOAA on 3 October 1970, McArthur became part of the NOAA fleet as NOAAS McArthur (S 330).

McArthur has one sister ship, the former NOAAS Davidson (S 331).


With her home port at Seattle, Washington, McArthur spent her career operating along the United States West Coast, in Alaskan waters, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. She began her career operating as a hydrographic survey ship, but later became primary U.S. West Coast current survey vessel. She engaged in measurements of chemical, meteorological, and biological sampling for several large-scale programs within NOAA. Her work was focused primarily on the exclusive economic zone of the United States off the U.S. West Coast, especially in several of the National Marine Sanctuaries there. She also conducted Chase Encirclement Stress Studies (CHESS) -- marine mammal surveys throughout the eastern tropical Pacific -- and took part in the Oregon, California, Washington (ORCAWALE) Project in support of protected species research efforts; she also participated in the Sustainable Seas Expedition. The scientists who carried out research aboard McArthur came from many divisions of NOAA, as well as other United States Government agencies, U.S. state government agencies, and academia.


McArthur was decommissioned on 20 May 2003 at the NOAA Marine Operations Center at Seattle and replaced in the NOAA fleet by the oceanographic research ship NOAAS McArthur II (R 330), which was commissioned the same day in a combined ceremony.


McArthur was sold to Blackwater Worldwide in 2006, for use by that company as a training ship and private maritime security ship under the name McArthur. She entered service with Blackwater Worldwide in 2007.