MV Carolyn Chouest

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MV Carolyn Chouest
MV Carolyn Chouest with NR-1.
United States
NameCarolyn Chouest
OwnerEdison Chouest Offshore[1]
BuilderNorth American Shipbuilding Co., Larose, LA
AcquiredJune 1994
In service1994
StatusCurrently in service
NotesLeased to the Military Sealift Command (MSC), contractor operated and controlled
General characteristics
TypeOcean surveillance ship
Displacement1599 tons
Length238 ft (73 m)
Beam52 ft (16 m)
Draft17 ft (5.2 m)
Installed power2 × 12-cylinder Caterpillar diesel engines 10,800 hp (8,100 kW)
PropulsionTwo Kort Nozzle variable-pitch propellers
Speed17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)

MV Carolyn Chouest is a chartered support ship for the United States Navy that was originally assigned to the Special Missions Program to support NR-1, the deep submergence craft. She towed NR-1 between work areas, served as a floating supply warehouse and provided quarters for extra crew until the NR-1 was removed from service in 2008.

Since the 2010s the ship has been used to support American special forces units in the Pacific region.[2][3]

Operational history[edit]

In 1995, Dr. Robert Ballard used the Carolyn Chouest and its sub the NR-1, to explore the wreck of HMHS Britannic, the sister ship of RMS Titanic, which sank off the coast of Kea, Greece while serving as a hospital ship during World War I.[4]

November 1999, Carolyn Chouest assisted recovery efforts after the EgyptAir Flight 990 airplane crash 60 miles (97 km) south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. She provided underwater mapping of the debris field using the side-scan sonar and recorded underwater video of the site with the ROV Magnum.[5]

February 2002, NR-1 and Carolyn Chouest helped archeologists to chart the USS Monitor, the Navy's first ironclad warship, as she rests 250 feet (76 m) below the sea.[6]

October 2004, Carolyn Chouest helped tow HMCS Chicoutimi back to Faslane, after a fire on board the Canadian submarine killed one crewman and injured two, 100 miles (160 km) off Ireland.[7]

December 2006, the fast-attack submarine, USS Pittsburgh resurfaced during sea trials after a 25-year-old Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employee began having neurological problems. He was safely transferred to Carolyn Chouest and continued to receive treatment from Pittsburgh's corpsman until evacuated by a Coast Guard helicopter.[8]

March 2007, NR-1 and Carolyn Chouest under the direction of oceanographer Robert Ballard began mapping the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to help scientists determine where early Americans might have lived when, at the height of the last ice age, sea levels were nearly 400 feet (120 m) lower than they are today.[9]

In March 3, 2023 Carolyn Chouest joined the North Pacific Arctic Conference off Guam.[10]


  1. ^ "Chouest". Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  2. ^ Altman, Howard; Trevithick, Joseph (14 April 2022). "This Is The Shadowy Special Operations Mothership You've Never Heard Of". The Drive. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  3. ^ Rogoway, Tyler (19 April 2022). "Pentagon Posts Rare Photo Of Navy SEAL-Laden Special Ops Sea Base". The Drive. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  4. ^ Ballard, Robert (28 January 1997). "Titanic's Lost Sister". PBS Nova. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  5. ^ Rising, David (20 November 1999). "Robot Maps Wreckage In Crash Area". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  6. ^ Bilyeu, Braden, JO3 (May 2002). "Carolyn Chouest and NR-1 explore naval history". Military Sealift Command. Retrieved 2008-10-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Submarine crew back on dry land". BBC News. 11 October 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  8. ^ "Submarine Crewman Medevaced". Coast Guard News. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  9. ^ Velasquez-Manoff, Moises (14 March 2007). "High-tech undersea search for the first Americans". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  10. ^ "Ship CAROLYN CHOUEST (Offshore Supply Ship) Registered in USA - Vessel details, Current position and Voyage information - IMO 8875384, MMSI 366404000, Call Sign WCP5628".

External links[edit]