The Columbia University research vessel R/V Marcus Langseth arrived in Newport Monday morning, clearing the bar and being pulled under the bridge by a tug boat. The 235 foot ship was docked at the OSU piers, right in front of the much smaller R/V Oceanus. We’re told that the ship will be in port long enough to have a crane, formerly on the R/V Wecoma, affixed to its deck and the it will depart.
According to Wikipedia entries the R/V Marcus Langseth was built in 1991 and is a highly specialized seismic analysis vessel. Its technical prowess apparently drew the suspicions of communist Chinese officials some years ago, barring it from sailing in waters between Taiwan and the China mainland. The ship was also embroiled in a Canadian lawsuit that sought to ban the ship from doing research off British Columbia, protagonists claiming its seismic energy waves probing the ocean bottom was a threat to ocean fish and mammals. The lawsuit was dismissed by the Canadian courts, satisfied that recent federal requirements on ship operations and the use of their technology would not harm ocean wildlife.