Wilmington District Christens New Survey Boat
Connie Swart Pettit, daughter of Dirk Swart, christens the Swart with a bottle of champagne at the Engineer Yard. Watching is Wilmington District Commander Col. Steve Baker and Pettit’s sisters Penny Swart Ledbetter, Lynda Swart Davis and brother Dirk Swart IV. At left is Swart Captain Wick Westmoreland.(USACE photo by Kenneth Velez)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District held a christening ceremony for the survey vessel Swart on November 30 at the Engineer Repair Yard in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The ceremony honored Dirk Swart III (1935-2011) who served as captain and operator of District Survey Vessel Gillette from 1971 to his retirement in 2002 at the age of 76. Swart was not only the senior survey boat skipper, but he was also the last veteran of World War II to retire from the Wilmington District.
Swart’s four surviving children participated in the christening ceremony with his oldest daughter, Connie Swart Pettit, having the honor of smashing a bottle of champagne across the vessel’s bow. His other children, Penny Swart Ledbetter, Lynda Swart Davis, and Dirk Swart IV also participated in the ceremony.