Middle River Marine LLC, a full-service harbor and fleeting company headquartered in Mokena, Ill., Mile 198 on the Illinois Waterway, welcomed three boats into its fleet recently. The christening ceremony was held at the company’s South Chicago Terminal.
The newly named vessels are the mv. Macey Lauren, a 66-foot, 1,250 hp. towboat formerly named Koolcat; the mv. Carmalee Rose, a 90-foot, 2,400 hp. tugboat formerly named Morgan; and the mv. Ava Renee, a 56-foot, 800 hp. towboat formerly named Tanner.
They were christened by their namesakes on October 30 in the presence of the Ozinga family, as well as many other guests and team members from Middle River Marine, reported Pete Colangelo, vice president of terminal operations.
President Aaron Halcomb welcomed everyone to the event and shared the history of boat christenings, while Pastor Chad Negley of Parkview Church performed the ceremony, Colangelo said.
“Marty Ozinga presented Bibles to Macey and Ava—Carmalee was not present—as well as to the captains of the three vessels. Aaron Ozinga closed the christening ceremony with a special blessing for the safety of the crews and the vessels, adding how pleased he is to expand the company’s fleet and service capability,” Colangelo said. “The event was capped by great food and fellowship.”
Middle River provides marine and terminal services on the Great Lakes and inland river system, with an expanding service area ranging from St. Louis to Chicago and the Calumet Harbor. Terminal operations now include Chicago, Calumet Park, Alsip, Lemont, Joliet, Rock Creek (South Joliet) and Henry, Ill.
The three vessels christened at the event were acquired through the purchase of Kindra Lake Towing in 2020. With the acquisition, Middle River has grown to nine vessels and almost 100 barges with more than 120 employees.
Caption for top photo: Macey Lauren Ozinga christens her namesake vessel. (Photo courtesy of Middle River Marine)