Students at Maine Maritime Academy had the opportunity to experience a real sea rescue when a sailboat radioed in, hysterically telling the receiver that he was taking on water. The 500-foot, 16,000-ton "State of Maine" was 29 nautical miles from the ship, and after an hour and a half, was able to reach the man over radio. It was made known that the sail boat had structural damage, but had barely remained afloat. The training ship neared the wreckage, and the students prepared the deck.
The "State of Maine" came alongside the sail boat, and after transferring a number of personal belongings onto the training ship, the Captain of the vessel, and the only person on it, miraculously climbed out of his boat for the final time, ascending up the ladder to the other ship. After a couple hours, he was able to call his wife and inform her of the situation at hand. He then settled in for the voyage back to Portland, and enjoyed a hot meal.
The president of the Marine Academy released a statement thanking the students, crew, and captain of "State of Maine" for their brilliant and successful efforts in the rescue. The educational cruise is now continuing onto Ireland before coming back to the states, ending in late July.
Maine Maritime Academy is a coed public college on the coast of Maine, containing about 950 undergraduate and graduate students. They offer 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation.