CASTINE — The training ship State of Maine headed away from the Castine dock on Friday morning, five days after residents raised concerns at a selectmen’s meeting about sewage effluent, pollution and noise from the docked ship.
The ship will dock at the Sprague Terminal in Searsport on Friday, said Maine Maritime Academy President William Brennan in a statement.
The students, faculty and staff will stay aboard the ship for the duration of the dock-side “cruise,” which is slated to end Aug. 8.
“I have never been opposed to moving the vessel, but until I was absolutely sure that our testing, quarantine and isolation measures kept the virus off the ship, I was unwavering in my view that the ship needed to be alongside our pier in case of a medical emergency,” said Brennan. “The distraction of complaints from a few Castine residents is out of proportion and embarrassing for a town that is largely supportive of the college and our mission. The way in which the academy, my students and crew have been treated in this matter, is not something I will soon forget.”
Those aboard the ship were tested twice for COVID-19 prior to boarding.
Redocking in Searsport, said Brennan, will allow the students, faculty and crew to focus on the educational and training mission of the Fast Cruise. Students will be working with all systems on the ship, including the main engine, generators, sanitation and water-making systems, refrigeration and more, accruing operational time and taking accredited academic courses.