Cal Maritime Cadet Found Dead on Training Ship

TS Golden Bear in September 2013. File photo courtesy Wiki Commons/
TS Golden Bear in September 2013. File photo courtesy Wiki Commons/

A California State University Maritime Academy cadet was found dead onboard the Academy’s Training Ship Golden Bear early Wednesday morning while docked at the school.

The cadet has been identified as first-year student Austin Ray Vancil.

A message from President Thomas A. Cropper said that the cause of death is under investigation by Cal Maritime Police, but there is no evidence of foul play.

“Our thoughts are with Austin’s family and friends and all who are touched by this loss,” Cropper said in his message. “Staff members are working together to provide support to students, family members, and others affected by this tragedy.”

Confidential grief counseling will be available to students, faculty, and staff, as well as support groups.

The school is in the process of planning a memorial service.

California State University Maritime Academy is one of six state maritime academies in the United States.

The school requires freshman to live aboard the TS Golden Bear for at least one semester prior to going on the freshman cruise, according to its website. This year’s training cruise to SE Asia is scheduled to commence April 23.