A ship launching ceremony at NASSCO. Courtesy of the company

The sixth of a fleet of eight tanker ships being built at General Dynamics NASSCO is scheduled to be launched on Saturday afternoon and the public is invited to the ceremony.

The 610-foot Constitution will be able to transport up to 330,000 barrels of petroleum. The 50,000-ton ship can be converted to run on clean-burning, liquefied natural gas.

The launch ceremony, scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. and open to the public, will include hundreds of shipbuilders and their families, the San Diego Children’s Choir singing the national anthem and complimentary ice cream sandwiches. The shipyard in Barrio Logan will open to the public at 3:45 p.m.

The ship’s sponsor, Cristin Thorogood — wife of Dan Thorogood, president of Seacor Ocean Transport — will conduct the traditional champagne-bottle break over the ship’s hull.

Sandi Dunkel, a NASSCO employee for nearly 25 years, will pull the trigger to release the ship into the San Diego Bay.

For safety reasons, members of the public who attend are asked to wear long pants, a shirt or blouse with sleeves, and flat, hard-sole, closed-toe shoes. No shorts, capri pants, skirts, tank tops, open-toed shoes, high heels or sandals are permitted.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.