Miss Agnes Zaiontz Honored by Vessel Dedication
Christening Mobile District Survey Vessel “Miss Agnes”
Story by Jeremy Murray
Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District
MOBILE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District and Tennessee-Tombigbee
Waterway Development Authority held a ceremony to officially welcome a new survey vessel to
its fleet in Columbus, Mississippi, April 28, 2023.
The Miss Agnes, a custom 26-foot marine survey vessel is a multibeam and single beam capable
vessel that features an enclosed center console, a three-monitor survey station, and an air
conditioner unit that is paired with a generator. Powered by twin 200-hp Mercury SeaPro
outboards and includes a double jack plate which simultaneously controls both engines when
lifting or lowering them within the water.
“Miss Agnes will conduct hydrographic survey analyses along the Tennessee-Tombigbee
Waterway.” said Justin Murphree, USACE Operations Project Manager in the Columbus,
Mississippi. “This survey vessel is custom built to survey inland waterways and shallow draft
operations in the Tenn-Tom.”
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, also known as the Tenn-Tom, is a 234-mile stretch of
waterway that connects the Tennessee River at Pickwick Lake in Tennessee to the Blake Warrior
River at Demopolis, AL, the Tenn-Tom has 10 lakes and 10 locks and dams which provide a
direct navigable route between the eastern Gulf Coast to the mid-continental U.S. The
waterway’s federally authorized purposes are navigation, wildlife mitigation and recreation.
The Miss Agnes is named for the late Mrs. Agnes Goodman Zaiontz, a former office manager for
the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority since its opening in 1985. Zaiontz
began her time with the authority as local volunteer. Shortly after the waterway’s grand opening,
she became a full-time employee where she ultimately served for over 34 years.
Zaiontz was a well-known, beloved, and respected personality at the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
“We are here today to honor the life of the remarkable lady who had such a positive impact on all
of us.” said Mitch Mays, Administrator, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development
Authority “Everyone at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority is grateful
for the Corps of Engineers choosing to honor Mrs. Agnes by choosing to name the survey boat,
the Miss Agnes.”
Her influence around the Tenn-Tom Waterway community was notable for forming the
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Tourism Association, as well as the Alabama-Mississippi-
Tennessee Rural Tourism Association, helping to promote tourism in the Waterway’s compact
“It brought my family and I happiness when we found out there was a way for my mother to
basically live on the river the way she lived and breathed it while she was alive.” said Frank
Zaiontz, son of Mrs. Agnes Goodman Zaiontz. “It is a huge honor to see my mother’s name will
live on forever.”