(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group has launched Dorothy Day (Hull 221) at the company’s Allanton facility in Panama City, Fla. Dorothy Day is the third of three new Ollis-class ferries for the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division.
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, representing New York’s 11th congressional district, served as the ship’s sponsor and broke the ceremonial bottle of champagne over the bow on March 26.
“For more than 200 years, the Staten Island Ferry has been a symbol of New York City’s harbor and an integral part of our city’s transportation system,” said Malliotakis. “As the only member representing New York City on the Transportation and Infrastructure (committee) and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, it was very insightful to see the shipbuilding company that has built the latest class of Staten Island ferries and FDNY boats that have made their way in and around my district, along with the new class of U.S. Coast Guard cutters that will modernize our Coast Guard’s fleet.”
Malliotakis added: “Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis is our hometown hero who bravely gave his life for our nation. His name is one that all Staten Islanders can be proud of as they view the best sites New York City has to offer.”
“It’s a distinct privilege for Eastern to have Congresswoman Malliotakis sponsor the third Staten Island ferry,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “Her presence here today illustrates the critical nature of this maritime infrastructure project and both her and Eastern’s absolute commitment to the residents of New York City. We are honored that Congresswoman Malliotakis made such an effort during these challenging times.”
Dorothy Day is preceded by the Ollis-class ferries Michael H. Ollis and Sandy Ground. The new ferries are named after the fallen soldier of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. Ollis, a Staten Island native, was killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 28, 2013 during Operation Enduring Freedom. The first of the series, Hull 219, is named in his honor.
Ollis stepped into the path of a Polish officer, blocking him from the suicide vest of an insurgent who had raided Forward Operating Base Ghazni. Ollis has received several honors posthumously including Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, Audie Murphy Medallion, Polish Gold Star Medal of Honor, and the Afghanistan Star from Poland for his valor. He was 24 years old.
In October 2018, Eastern’s facilities were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 hurricane that was the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the Florida panhandle and the third-strongest hurricane ever to hit the United States. Within days Eastern began rebuilding and within weeks the shipyard restarted production on its existing contracts, the most notable of which being the Staten Island ferries and the Coast Guard offshore patrol cutter.
– Eastern Shipbuilding Group