Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

By Chris Philips
Managing Editor 

Good News for the Maritime Industry


June 1, 2017

“Out of the five branches of our Armed Services, it’s only the Coast Guard that has the power to break through 21 feet of rock-solid arctic ice, right? You’re the only ones. And I’m proud to say that under my administration, as you just heard, we will be building the first new heavy icebreakers the United States has seen in over 40 years. We’re going to build many of them.”

These were the words of President Trump as he congratulated the US Coast Guard Academy’s graduating class at the service’s commencement exercises in New London, Connecticut last month.

He was referring to the remarks of Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, who had preceded the President in the ceremony.

“We’re already building out a fleet of national security cutters,” the commandant said. “That program was going to be truncated at 5 or 6- now were building out 10.”

The commandant also noted the ongoing schedule of 58 new fast response cutters, as well as a fleet of offshore patrol cutters, “and we awarded the contract for the first nine.”

Admiral Zukunft also told the cadets, “We just freed up money under this administration to finally invest in heavy icebreakers. We’re going to build six, but we’re on the fast track to build the first one.”

We’ll cover the story in more detail next month.

As another class of US Coast Guard graduates was preparing to enter the “workforce,” a group of deserving young adults was preparing to continue their education with the help of the Youth Maritime Training Association (YMTA).

YMTA was formed in 1996 by maritime employers and labor organizations in an effort to expand youth awareness of the opportunities available in the maritime industry, and to facilitate training and education opportunities. Every year the YMTA facilitates scholarships to help prospective mariners with their education. The scholarships are awarded in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $500, to be used by students pursuing maritime training and education in community colleges, technical and vocational programs, colleges, universities, maritime academies or other educational institutions.

A ceremony at Compass Courses in late April was well attended by members of the maritime community, scholarship recipients and their families. Judges heard presentations by the competitors and recommended scholarships accordingly.

The Council of American Master Mariners (CAMM) awarded a $5,000 scholarship to Samantha Petersen, of Newcastle, Washington. Ms. Petersen, whose father is a retired Coast Guard officer, has applied to and been accepted by California Maritime academy, as well as Gonzaga, Whitworth and John Carroll universities.

Fishing company Ocean Peace, which operates two catcher/processors that operate in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, awarded a $4,000 scholarship to Erik Hansen, of Port Townsend, Washington. A graduate of Jefferson Community School, Mr. Hansen has been accepted to both Massachusetts and Maine Maritime Academies.

Kendra Pew, of Shaw Island, Washignton, was awarded a $3,000 scholarship by Foss Maritime. Ms. Pew, who graduated from Friday Harbor High School with a 3.92 GPA, will be attending Bowdoin College.

Molyneaux Megenhardt, of Seattle, is a graduate of Ballard High School, where he was enrolled in the maritime program under advisor John Foster. He has been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from Compass Courses, and will be attending the Seattle Maritime Academy.

Alexander Peli, of Everett, Washington, is an Eagle Scout who attended Cascade High School where he followed the Naval Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program for two years. He was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Goodfellow Foundation. The annual pacific maritime magazine scholarship for $500 was also awarded to Mr. Peli. This scholarship is notable for its longevity- we have been awarding the scholarship for 30 years- and for the caliber of recipients, including John Fisker-Andersen, Cal Maritime graduate and port engineer for Coastal Transportation.

Arlington, Washington’s Alena Eldridge was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from Fremont Maritime Services. Ms. Eldridge is a graduate of Arlington High School as well as the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), which offers up to two years’ college credit. Ms. Eldridge has been accepted to the University of California-Santa Cruz, as well as the University of Washington and Oregon State University.

To the new Coast Guard officers graduating in 2017, and the scholarship winners just beginning their maritime training, we send our congratulations and our wish for fair winds and following seas.

Chris can be reached at


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