Sailing Singlehanded – Maine Maritime Training Ship Rescues North Atlantic Sailor

Training ship T.S. State of Maine
Training ship T.S. State of Maine, photo courtesy Maine Maritime Academy

Maine Maritime Academy’s Training Ship State of Maine responded to a distress call yesterday morning in the North Atlantic. The training ship was on a homeward course when the vessel was contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard RCC (VIA AMVER) about a nearby sailing vessel that was taking on water. The vessel, SV Prodigal, was battered by recent storms, and her Captain, Michael Hurley, was sailing singlehanded.

The State of Maine was approximately 520 nautical miles SSE of Halifax, Nova Scotia and approximately 29 nautical miles from the imperiled sailboat when it changed course to assist the vessel. 1 ½ hours after the initial call students aboard the State of Maine prepared to render assistance by checking the fast rescue boats, fastening a cargo net to the main deck, and rigging a jacob’s ladder.

Once on location the State of Maine maneuvered alongside and within a couple of hours, Captain Hurley was able to call his wife to let her know he was safe.

“I’m proud of our students, officers, crew and staff, who were put to the test today,” said President William J. Brennan. “Please thank Captain Eadie and all hands for me on a job well done.”

“Students today got a first-hand look at near disaster,” said Nate Gandy, Commandant of Midshipmen and Maine Maritime Academy alumnus. “Collaboration, problem-solving, skill, and luck all conspired to bring about a positive outcome, and we are thankful for a safe rescue for Captain Hurley.”

The Training Ship State of Maine is due to arrive in Portland, Maine on Saturday, June 13, 2015. The educational cruise will continue on to Cobh, Ireland; Norfolk, Virginia; and Searsport, Maine, ending in Castine on Monday, July 27. To follow the cruise, visit cruise.mma.edu.

The State of Maine sails under the direction of Captain Leslie Eadie, of Brewer, Maine.The 500-foot, 16,000-ton Training Ship State of Maine, originally commissioned as the USNS Tanner, served as a Navy oceanographic research vessel before being converted in 1997 to accommodate the training needs of the college. The fourth vessel to bear the name State of Maine, the ship is a modern, technologically advanced training vessel.