Gov. Phil Bryant christens two MDMR vessels

17-02-MMS| January 12, 2017

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – Gov. Phil Bryant popped the top on a bottle of bubbly Thursday afternoon and christened two Mississippi Department of Marine Resources boats.


Bryant joined MDMR Executive Director Jamie Miller and other state and local officials for the blessing of the Conservationist, an oyster lugger, and the Admiral Dewey, a Marine Patrol vessel named for Bryant.


The Rev. Kenneth Davis, pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, blessed the boats. The ceremony was held at Singing River Island.


The Conservationist is a 65-foot boat built in 1972 by Anthony W. “Tony Jack” Covacevich, a longtime Biloxi ship carpenter. The vessel moved its first load of oysters in 1974 and is used for planting oyster cultch material and transplanting oysters.


The vessel experienced mechanical issues in 2014 and has undergone repair and renovation since that time.


The Admiral Dewey is a 2016 Ambar Vessel constructed by Silverships in Theodore, Ala. The boat was custom designed for Marine Patrol functions and is the first of its kind. It can carry a six-man crew, and its top speed is about 63 mph.


George Dewey was admiral of the Navy, the only person in U.S. history to attain the rank. Dewey is known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American war. Bryant, his father and grandfather all were named after Dewey.


Photo courtesy MS Department of Marine Resources

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Gov. Phil Bryant, center, poured champagne over two Mississippi Department of Marine Resources boats Thursday in a ceremony at Singing River Island in Pascagoula. He was joined by, from left, Commission on Marine Resources member Ron Harmon, left, MDMR Executive Director Jamie Miller and CMR Chairman Richard Gollott.


The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at