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DNR Names Boat after Former Boating Director

Gaudette’s daughter, Abby Flynn, christening the boat by breaking a champagne bottle over the hull.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), along with U.S. Department of Homeland Security and United States Coast Guard dedicated Maryland’s new buoy and debris response vessel, the R.P. Gaudette, in honor of DNR’s former Boating Services Director on November 26 at City Dock in Annapolis.

Robert Gaudette

Robert Gaudette

DNR commissioned the 38-foot vessel as a tribute to Robert Gaudette who retired earlier this year after 32 years of service. Before his departure Gaudette was also named Admiral of the Chesapeake by Governor Martin O’Malley for his outstanding leadership in public access and environmental initiatives and service to the State and its citizens.

Oquawka Boats & Fabrications, an Illinois company, built the vessel which is powered by twin 300 horsepower motors. The boat will work out of the Matapeake complex on Kent Island mostly tending to bouys and removing debris. It is equipped with state of the art navigational and charting systems, a hydraulic lift and bow ramp, and booms. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant paid for 75 percent of the boat with the remainder from the State.