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Talk of the bay

TECO doesn't look far when it names its ships

Published February 7, 2005

Ocean-going vessels traditionally have been considered female, at least in the United States. In keeping with that age-old maritime custom, TECO Ocean Shipping, a subsidiary of TECO Transport, christens its ships and barges with female names.

And rather familiar names, at that.

Most commonly honored are the wives of TECO executives, such as Judy Litrico, wife of TECO Transport president Sal Latrico, whose name is on a 641-foot cargo ship, and Cynthia Fagan, wife of former TECO Energy Inc. chairman and chief executive Robert Fagan and the namesake of a 611-foot freighter.

The spouses of TECO Energy president and chief operating officer John Ramil and executive vice president and chief financial officer Gordon Gillette have tugboats named after them. Peoples Gas president Bill Cantrell's wife, Pat, has her name emblazoned on the side of a 550-foot barge.

It's a practice that has been in place at the company for as long as anyone can remember, TECO spokesman Ross Bannister said. In a modern update to the tradition, one of the largest ships is named not for someone's spouse but for TECO Energy senior vice president and general counsel Sheila McDevitt, the highest-ranking female executive at the company.

TECO Ocean Shipping's armada of about two dozen vessels transports coal, phosphate and various commodities throughout the world. But before they embark on their initial voyages, they usually are given a formal christening, with the vessel's namesake at the ready with the customary bottle of champagne, Bannister said.

[Last modified February 4, 2005, 19:26:01]

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