The State of Maine left port in Castine, Wednesday.
And they’re off!
“Everybody’s itching to get out,” says Frank Ridge, Junior at Maine Maritime Academy.
244 Maine Maritime Academy students embarked on their two month bi-continental voyage.
“It’s a huge day for the students,” said Bill Brennan, President of the Academy.
The Mariners will do the tasks of engineers, ship men and navigators to bring their vessel into three international ports of call in Italy, Germany and Iceland.
“Well we’re going try to learn how to run the ship with as little assistance as possible. It’s a little bit scary,” Ridge said.
Students hug parents goodbye, and parents waive from the dock.
“We’re excited about him having this opportunity, he’s excited,” said Frank’s dad, Marty Ridge.
It’s hands-on programs like this one that give Maine Maritime more than a 90% job acceptance rate. The highest in the state of Maine.
“We really couldn’t operate as successfully as we do without the opportunity to spend time on board the ship,” Brennan explained.
“They are all employed and they are all well employed,” Ridge said.
Juniors aboard teach the Freshmen the ins and outs of running the ship, getting them ready for future careers.
“It’s basically our job to train them and teach them everything they need to know and put everything they’ve learned in school this year to use,” said Junior, Tanner Pidgeon.
Students say they’re confident they’ll have plenty of marine related careers after graduation.
“Work my way up to be master of a ship,” said John Parrinello, Junior.
“I’d like to run a port,” said freshman, Tara Gauntt.
“I hope to commission as an officer in the Navy or Coast Guard,” said Pidgeon.