J. W. Westcott II
J. W. Westcott II (courtesy Boatnerd.Com)
|Name:||J. W. Westcott II|
|Owner:||J. W. Westcott Company|
|Route:||Detroit River, Great Lakes|
|Builder:||Paasch Marine Service of Erie, Pennsylvania|
|Identification:||Official number: 258859|
|Class & type:||Pilot and mail boat|
|Length:||45 ft (14 m)|
|Beam:||13 ft (4.0 m)|
|Draft:||4 ft (1.2 m)|
|Propulsion:||Cummins Marine QSB 5.9 (305 hp)|
The J.W. Westcott II is a boat that serves to deliver mail to other vessels, and also provides a pilot boat service to ferry pilots to and from other vessels. The ship operates out of Detroit, Michigan and is the only floating post office in the world that delivers mail to other ships as they are underway.
The Westcott company was established in 1874 by Captain J.W. Westcott, who ferried supplies (and by 1895 the mail) to passing ships via rowboat. By 1949 the company commissioned the Paasch Marine Service of Erie, Pennsylvania to build the J.W. Westcott II, named in honor of the Westcott company's founder. The ship is 45' in length and has a beam of 13'. A single screw is powered by a 305 HP marine diesel engine. Her speed is rated at 15 knots.
Any mail addressed to members of ships' crews on vessels passing through the Detroit River can be delivered to them via The J.W. Westcott II, by being addressed "Vessel Name, Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan, 48222." The U.S. postal zip code 48222 is exclusive to the floating post office and its ship addressees. The mail will be delivered to the appropriate ships (mainly lake freighters) as they pass under the Ambassador Bridge. The postal station is located near the bridge on the U.S. side of the river.
On 23 October 2001, the J.W. Westcott II sank in the deep water under the Ambassador Bridge while caught in the wake of a much larger ship she was serving, the MT Sidsel Knutsen. The captain and one other crew member were killed and two others were rescued. The ship was later salvaged, refurbished and put back into service.
- "Dimensions". Westcott Co. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "Facts about Michigan". ThingToDo.com. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "J. W. Westcott Company". Westcott Co. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "Two killed in sinking of mail boat J.W. Westcott II in Detroit River". Professional Mariner. Feb/Mar 2002. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Investigation of J.W.Westcott II sinking, US Coastguard[dead link]
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