The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is scheduled to arrive in Rockland, Maine, Friday, at 3 p.m. as part of its 2014 cadet summer training deployment. The Eagle's visit to Rockland is to celebrate the Maine Lobster Festival.
The Eagle will be open for free public tours Saturday, Aug. 2, from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
At 295 feet in length, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service.
Constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy, the Eagle was taken by the United States as a war reparation following World War II.
With more than 23,500 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle has served as a classroom at sea to future Coast Guard officers since 1946, offering an at-sea leadership and professional development experience.
Currently, there are 135 cadets from the Coast Guard Academy embarked. The summer deployment for the Barque spans 13-weeks, and stops at nine port calls in four countries, with four different groups of cadets and officer candidates training onboard.
A permanent crew of eight officers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship and guide the cadets through an underway and in-port training schedule, dedicated to learning the skills of navigation, damage control, watchstanding, engineering and deck seamanship.
Rockland is only one of two cities in the First Coast Guard District to be designated a Coast Guard City, alongside Newburyport, Massachusetts. To date, sixteen cities have been designated by Congress as Coast Guard Cities.