Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort acquires research vessel

BEAUFORT, NC (WITN) - Marine Sciences students and researchers in the East now have a new floating lab to take advantage of and it’s all thanks to an anonymous donor.

The Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort was recently given an $11 million donation that allowed them to build the research vessel 'Shearwater.'

The 77-foot long boat arrived at the university a short time ago and is getting ready for its first big trip.

In January, a group of students will take the floating laboratory down to Florida to learn about basic ocean processes.

This will be the boat's first big trip, but officials at the school say it's the first of many trips.

"We have the capability to take trips off-shore, taking our students off-shore, taking local students off-shore to show them the marine environment. So we're really excited," said Duke Marine Lab Director Andy Read.

The university also has plans to conduct another research trip off of Hatteras this summer to study whales.