Dear Matt: Who/what are the “Chouest” ships (the Laney Chouest, Dolores Chouest, Cory Chouest, Amy Chouest) — red and brown, with mini-subs on board, which go in and out of the bay? What do they do? Who are the Chouests? — Barbara J. Nobles, Hillcrest
A Chouest family reunion would clog up the harbor big time. What a clan. It all started with Edison Chouest, founder of Edison Chouest Offshore Inc., in Galliano, Louisiana. The company builds icebreakers, container ships, oil field vessels, surveillance and submarine-rescue ships, research vessels — all kinds of high-seas workhorses. At some point, the company started naming ships after family members, and things have simply gotten out of hand. Don’t know whether they had babies to keep up with ship production or built ships to keep up with the babies, but anyway, there are at least 22 Chouests working around the globe — the four you named, plus Margaret B., Eddie, Kathy, Carolyn, Dino, Dionne, Damon, Casey, Ross, Betty, Ella G., Jonathan, Ryan, Gail, Julian, Joseph, Joan, and Jackie Chouest. There used to be a Kirt Chouest too, but a fleet owner renamed it. Dolores Chouest is Edison’s wife. Laney Chouest is the youngest of their sons. Margaret is Laney’s wife. Amy and Cory are their kids. Ella is Laney’s mother-in-law. Laney carries manned and unmanned submersibles, which the Navy has recently used to scout submerged plane wreckage and for undersea geological research. Dolores carries a deep submergence rescue vehicle to help subs in trouble. Cory and Amy are research vessels. Laney and Dolores are currently ported at North Island.