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Alvin Milton Raymond Baker

Alvin Baker was born and raised on Deer Island, just off the Biloxi shore in 1941. Born the son of a third-generation fisherman, Alvin began boating within the first few weeks of life. Although his father and mother, Arthur and Eva Walther Baker, maintained their home on the island, he and his four brothers attended Biloxi Public Schools, rowing across the channel to the foot of Oak Street on mainland Biloxi. They rarely missed a day, even in adverse weather conditions.

While attending school from the age of 12 until 18 years, Alvin worked on the family’s charter boats the DORIS MAE and SEA QUEEN.

The winter following his high school graduation in 1959, he expanded his experience working for Junie Desporte and George Higginbotham selling seafood and learning all aspects of retail and commercial sales from catching to preparation. Aboard the PROGRES, his father’s boat, he became a skilled shrimper and served on nine charter boats and eight oyster harvesting vessels.

In 1966, Alvin began working in the oilfield as a deckhand on the Motor Vessels CC1 and COASTAL CARRIER. With this experience, he gained his captain’s license and became the first captain of the MV COASTAL CRUISER built by Halter Marine. Here he would serve seven years, mostly working with Shell Oil. In 1972, Lockheed Petroleum Co. of Westminster BC, Canada, placed a diving bell on the COASTAL CRUISER, opening Alvin to gain experience in the exploration for oil.

By 1975, Alvin became port captain for Coastal Tugs, Inc. where he supervised twenty-two vessels, some as large as 200 ft in length. He later advanced to Chief Operating Officer and then part owner of Coastal Tugs, Inc., eventually becoming sole owner of the company as well as Alaran Marine. He operated both companies for six years personally attending to all sales, inspections, crewing, drydocking and transportation. Loyal to his hometown, he procured most of his labor force and crew from Biloxi.

With the sale of both of his companies in 1992, Captain Alvin Baker retired in Biloxi. He became a board member of the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum and helped coordinate its first Wooden Boat Show and donated sailboats. Alvin is enjoying retirement with his wife Anna.

Having lived his entire life on the waters of the Mississippi Sound, Alvin Baker is truly deserving of this induction into the Heritage Hall of Fame.


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