Thanks But No Thanks – Says US Navy To TS Kennedy

Photo By Christian Conover

Having just recently departed for their summer winter training cruise, Mass Maritime Cadets got a surprise call from the state department… Cape Code Online tells us:

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s training ship won’t be heading to Haiti after all.

The federal government had notified school officials this afternoon that the Training Ship Kennedy would be used to bolster rescue efforts from last week’s massive earthquake. By nighttime, however, the government changed course and said it would not use the school’s ship, said MMA spokesman Chris Ryan.

That means the 599 cadets aboard will resume their sea term and continue to Curacao. “We are turning it around and resuming sea term,” Ryan said.

The ship was 500 miles southeast of Miami heading to Curacao when the original directive was handed down yesterday, said Adm. Richard Gurnon, president of the college. The ship was going to be rerouted to Florida where most cadets were going to get off the ship and be flown back home, Gurnon said. Seniors would stay on board, the boat would be stocked with emergency supplies and the boat was to head to the harbor in Port-au-Prince to assist first responders.

Ryan said Gurnon received word shortly after 8 p.m. from the U.S. Maritime Administration that the order was reversed.

The request to use the vessel was made by the U.S. State Department and the Maritime Administration, Gurnon said in the press release. The order reversing that request was made by the U.S. Navy, which opted to use its own ship, Gurnon said.

The reshuffling of duties for training ships during a crisis is not uncommon. In 2005, training ships State of Maine, Empire State and Texas Clipper, were used as safe havens by first responders assisting those caught in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Gurnon said. Continue Reading…

You can stay updated on the latest news from sea at Mass Maritime’s SeaTerm ’10 Blog or visiting gCaptain’s Mass Maritime Cadet and Mass Maritime Alumni forums

Many thanks to Roy “Fuji” Fulgueras, for the link.