Governor Ron DeSantis participates in Eastern Shipbuillding Group boat launch

The Governor came to town for the launch of the SSG Michael H. Ollis at Eastern Shipbuilding....
The Governor came to town for the launch of the SSG Michael H. Ollis at Eastern Shipbuilding. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Nov. 15, 2019 at 4:53 PM CST
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The SSG Michael H. Ollis made its way into the water for the first time Friday.

This boat not only has a lot of sentimental value to our area, but also to our country.

The 4,500 passenger ferry boat is named after Army Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis, who was killed in the line of duty.

The vessel will head up to New York to join the iconic Staten Island ferry fleet, where Ollis was from.

And just like how Ollis stood up for our country, this boat will stand up for our community. This vessel was under construction during Hurricane Michael and it withstood the strong winds to make it into the water today.

Governor Ron DeSantis says to be where it's at today, shows how resilient our community is.

"Obviously a lot of people here have worked very hard from right after the storm, all the way to the present day. We've worked very hard, it's been a priority for our administration to help in those recovery efforts, but I think when this ship is christened, that's a signal that this place is humming," said Governor Ron DeSantis.

"We knew we had to get the shipyard back together, get our lives back together, get our community back together, but we also had to get back to work building these boats," said Eastern Shipbuilding Group President, Joey D'Isernia.

This vessel is the first of three that will join the Staten Island ferry fleet, and each boat takes around three years to complete.

The next boat launch should be in about six to eight months.

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