Keel laid for research ship named after Mississippi civil rights leader Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Sr.

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Photo courtesy of University of Southern Mississippi.

HOUMA, La. (AP) — A Mississippi civil rights physician was honored during a ceremony in Louisiana marking the construction of a research vessel named after him.

A keel-laying ceremony was held Tuesday to recognize the construction start of Research Vessel Gilbert R. Mason, named after Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Sr.

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Mason died in 2006. He helped integrate Biloxi public schools in Mississippi and desegregate Biloxi beaches.

The $106 million vessel is 200-feet long and will accommodate a crew of 29 to sea for 21 days.

The ship will dock at the Houma Navigation Canal or in Gulfport, Mississippi.


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The R.V. Gilbert R. Mason is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

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