Behind Our Decor: Life Preservers

Sometimes in brainstorming, our minds wander, and then we land on something pretty cool. Sometimes, it’s even something that’s physically in our office. Which leads us to this post, where we do some digging into our office decor.

Life preservers. While they make really cool office decorations, ours also came from real ships that crossed great lakes and great oceans. Here’s what we found out about our orange buddies.

LC Calliroë Patronicola

This bulk carrier was built in 1984 by Nippon Kokan. She was named for the sister of Aristotle Onassis, the second husband of Jackie Kennedy. She was big! Her gross tonnage was 17,879 tons and deadweight was 29,693 tons. At almost 200 yards long, she was about the height of the Seattle Space Needle. Sadly, her shipping days are over as she was sold in 2013 for scrap.

LC Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

Originally named the Belle River, this self-unloading bulk carrier set sail in 1977. She is still actively moving coal across the great lakes. Her gross tonnage is 35,652 tons and and her length is 333 yards. That’s almost 100 ft higher than the tallest building in Duluth.

LC Olympic Mentor

She was built in 1983 by NKK Yokohama. She has a gross tonnage of 17,879 tons and a deadweight of 29,693 tons. She’s made more than six trips to the Twin Ports since 1996 and has traveled around the world from Brazil to Belgium.

In 2001, she was hit by a storm in the Duluth bay and the captain couldn’t get the anchor to hold. To prevent her from being run aground on Park Point, he had to move the ship back and forth in a nine-mile loop. The storm didn’t let up for two days, and neither did the crew.

LC Gulf Sentry

The Gulf Sentry was originally manufactured as the JJ Brown in 1967 for the U.S. Air Force and retrieved missiles in the Gulf until 1994. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used it next and eventually loaned the vessel to the Florida Marine Patrol. The Patrol officially acquired, refurbished and renamed her the Gulf Sentry in 2008. She now operates search and rescue efforts off the coast of Florida.

LC Turn

We’ve done our homework online, but couldn’t find a scrap of info. If you have any information on our mystery ship, please email us. We’re mighty curious.

And next time you pay Swim a visit, take a moment to notice the life preservers adorning the walls.

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