New Orleans Corps of Engineers christens new survey vessel named in honor of former employee.

USACE New Orleans DIstrict
Published March 18, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, has a new hydrographic survey boat among its fleet of vessels that sails the waters of South Louisiana. The Motor Vessel (M/V) Ducarpe was christened during a ceremony held at the Seabrook Harbor & Marine March 7, 2024.

Nearly 70 people – family, friends and USACE employees included – attended the christening ceremony officiated by Deacon Jason Binet, Engineering Division chief of waterways, and Deacon Mike Cardella of the Institute for Water Resources (IWR).

The boat was named in honor of Michael Ducarpe, who worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, for more than 20 years before passing away in 2023. Ducarpe started working at the Corps in 1999 as a civil engineering technician for the Channel Survey Section, for which he later became the supervisor.

Ducarpe had a reputation for being naturally charismatic and building strong relationships with the surveyors and boat operators in his section. While serving as its supervisor, he was in charge assigning its seven vessels for surveying tasks, scheduling maintenance and repairs for the vessels, and balancing dredging support for waterways within the district’s area of responsibility.

“I’ve worked with Mike since 2001 and always admired the enthusiasm he showed towards his job and how he stayed positive about all aspects of life,” said Richard Entwisle, USACE New Orleans District supervisory civil engineer and master of ceremonies for the christening. “In addition to the inspiration he was to many co-workers at the Corps, he also became friends with most of them and was a motivating factor in keeping morale high within the section. He was a great teammate, and having the opportunity to work with him for so many years was a blessing to those who had that pleasure.”

Because of the meaningful impact he had on the people he worked with and to the mission of the district itself, USACE felt that naming the vessel after Ducarpe was a fitting and well-deserved tribute honoring his legacy at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Naming the vessel after him was an obvious choice because of the many years of selfless service he dedicated to the Corps of Engineers and the residents of south Louisiana, and the influence he had on those who knew him,” said Entwisle. “Having a boat in his name to continue the great work he performed during his career is a well-deserved honor and a tribute to him and his entire family.”

This hydrographic survey vessel is classified as a Catamaran Class survey vessel and is the latest high-speed data collection platform USACE will be using to support safe and efficient navigation of the Mississippi River and other waterways USACE operates in within the New Orleans District. The M/V Ducarpe is nearly 26 feet long with a 9.5 feet beam and a dry weight of nearly 12,000 pounds. In addition, this twin-outboard motor vessel has both multi- and single-beam survey capabilities.

The M/V Ducarpe will join other survey vessels of the New Orleans District to ensure safe and reliable navigation continues on the Mississippi River and federal waterways within the district.

Ryan Labadens