Port Canaveral Welcomes U.S. Maritime Service Training Ship State of Maine
By Steve Linden, Port Canaveral // July 23, 2021
TS State of Maine has 177 MMA cadets on board
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) cadets and their faculty sailed into Port Canaveral aboard the Training Ship State of Maine, marking the first arrival of the vessel at the Port.
The TS State of Maine with 177 MMA cadets on board is on the second of three training cruises for 2021, which began on July 7 from the vessel’s homeport in Castine, Maine. The training cruise is critical sea time for cadets to experience shipboard life and gain hands-on ship training and experience.
Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray, an alumnus of the Maine Maritime Academy, welcomed the State of Maine’s Master Captain Gordon “Mac” MacArthur and presented a traditional plaque to commemorate the vessel’s inaugural visit to the Port.“The future of the maritime industry depends on the education and learning experiences of these cadets,” stated Port CEO Capt. John Murray. “We are proud to host this training ship at our Port and wish all aboard great success with their sea term.”
While the TS State of Maine was berthed at Port Canaveral, the MMA cadets participated in a specialized fire training certification program at Port Canaveral’s Maritime Firefighting Academy, a state-of-the-art facility established by the Port to train seafarers and shipboard personnel, as well as professional firefighters serving seaport communities.
All MMA cadets had a lectured classroom training session followed by hands-on simulated shipboard and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fire training led by Canaveral Fire Rescue personnel.
Maine Maritime Academy is a four-year college offering degreed education programs in engineering, science, management and transportation. It is one of six state maritime academies in the U.S., in addition to the federal U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York providing specialized maritime industry education and training.
Academy cadets pursuing certain maritime careers requiring U.S. Coast Guard licensure must spend a specified number of days at sea to earn a certification.
The TS State of Maine is owned by the U.S. Government under the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), and is manned and operated by Maine Maritime Academy. It has been used as a training vessel by the state academy since 1997.
The 500-foot, 16,000-ton TS 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 and serve as a high-tech teaching platform to train cadets for careers as licensed officers in the Merchant Marine.
The State of Maine is currently the flagship of the Maine Maritime Academy fleet and provides an opportunity for midshipmen to get hands-on experience afloat.
Port Canaveral is a popular port of call and has been welcoming students from various maritime programs for many years. The Port has hosted cadets and faculty from Texas A&M Maritime Academy aboard the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s TS Kennedy, Texas A&M Maritime Academy’s TS General Rudder and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s training vessel, Eagle.
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