The J.W. Westcott II is a boat that serves to deliver mail to other vessels, and also provides a pilot boat service to ferry pilots to and from other vessels. The ship operates out of Detroit, Michigan and is regarded as the only ship in the U.S.A that delivers mail to other ships, as they are underway.
The Westcott company was established in 1874 by Captain J.W. Westcott, who ferried supplies (and by 1895 the mail) to passing ships via rowboat. By 1949 the company commissioned the Paasch Marine Service of Erie, Pennsylvania to build the J.W. Westcott II, named in honor of the Westcott companies founder. The ship is 45′ in length and has a beam of 13′. A single screw is powered by a 220 HP marine diesel engine. Her speed is rated at 15 knots.
Any mail addressed to members of ships crews that pass through the Detroit River can have mail delivered to them C/O The J.W. Westcott II, Detroit, Michigan, 48222 (the U.S. postal zip-code). The mail will be delivered to the appropriate ships (mainly lake freighters) as they pass under the Ambassador Bridge. The postal station is located near the bridge on the U.S. side of the river.
On October 23, 2001, the J.W. Westcott II, sank in the deep water under the Ambassador Bridge while caught in the wake of a much larger ship she was serving, the MT Sidsel Knutsen. The captain and one other crew member were killed and two others were rescued. The ship was later salvaged, refurbished and put back into service.