#corkharbour- Following last year’s 75th anniversary of the Maine Maritime Academy, their flagship trainee schoolship returned to Cork Harbour as part of an annual cruise programme, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 12,000 gross tonnage TS State of Maine had sailed from Alicante, Spain and is currently berthed at Cobh. The deepwater berth here is otherwise the scene of summertime cruiseships but is to where the trainee ship had previously called last year.
The trainee cruise by the State of Maine this season includes ports on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They are (though subject too change) Charleston in South Carolina, Tenerife, Spain, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Portland, ME, Edinburgh, Scotland and New York.
At 152m/500ft long the flagship heads MMA’s fleet of 60 vessels. In the case of this ship she is a converted oceanographic research vessel that served the US Navy having been launched as USNS Tanner from the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Maryland in 1990. For the next three years she served in the US Military Sealift Command.
Acquired in 1997, the trainee ship is the college flagship of the Marine Transportation programme and the vessel’s homeport is Castine Harbour in Maine.
The vessel was renamed the Training Ship State of Maine, and was modified to increase the accommodation from 108 to 302 persons.
New lifesaving equipment and upgrades to existing equipment were accomplished as well as enhancements to the habitability requirements of the flagship.
The academy was founded in 1941 and enrolls more than 900 students from 35 states and from several foreign countries.
Students in the college are awarded A.S., B.S., and M.S. degrees in 15 fields of study. The schoolship provides an opportunity for midshipmen to get hands on experience afloat.