GALVESTON – July 10, 2005 – Cadets and crew
aboard the USTS Texas Clipper II, the Texas A&M University at
Galveston’s 394-foot training vessel, received real-world
experience on Sunday, July 10, 2005 when they rescued a man from a
disabled 35’ motor yacht.
In force seven sea conditions due to Hurricane Dennis with 13’-16’
seas and winds gusting over 30 knots, a weak, “Mayday, Mayday” was
heard on the VHF radio by Mate Wade Howell.
“The vessel in distress, the Maineship Fugitive, had been at sea
for over eight days and been adrift for the past three days,”
stated Capt. Sam Stephenson, master of the Texas Clipper II.
The Maineship Fugitive had departed Titusville, Florida heading to
Chub Cay in the Bahamas with one passenger aboard, James Lichlyter
“The vessel had lost battery and electrical power and it did not
have operational engines. Therefore, Mr. Lichlyter did not know
his position,” noted Stephenson.
Crew on watch asked a series of questions to help locate the
ill-fated boat and Lichlyter was able to identify an unlit brown
structure through the haze. Cadets identified the structure as the
Great Isaac Light, approximately 11 nautical miles from the Texas
“The cadets gained valuable training in locating the Maineship
Fugitive after flares were shot and finally a passing ship was
identified,” noted Stephenson.
As the seas continued churning, the Texas Clipper II came
alongside the Maineship Fugitive leaving her on the port side to
create a lee. A line was secured to the bow of the Maineship
Fugitive and Lichlyter climbed the pilot ladder to the Texas
Clipper II and safety.
“Other than severe sunburn, being very tired and hungry, he
appears to be in good health,” stated Capt. Stephenson.
The Texas Clipper II made way for Miami, towing the Maineship
Fugitive. However, a few hours later the heavy seas ripped the
bitt from the bow of the Maineship Fugitive and once again, she
was adrift. The USCG Cutter Thetis was informed the boat was
adrift and the Thetis took control of the vessel.
The Texas Clipper II is traveling to the Miami sea buoy where they
will meet a US Coast Guard vessel and transfer Lichlyter safely
"Our crew and cadets are to be commended for a job well done,"
said Stephenson. "They did an outstanding job in making this
rescue safe and successful and everyone completed their duties
with the utmost precision."
The Texas Clipper II departed Galveston June 4th for its final
training voyage as the Texas A&M University at Galveston training
ship. After departing Miami, the ship will continue course to Port
Arthur, Texas where cadet parents and guests of the University
will board the ship and make one last voyage to Galveston where
their new training ship is awaiting them at the University dock.
Texas A&M University at Galveston hosts the Texas Maritime
Academy, one of six state academies in the United States and the
only academy in the Gulf Coast. The USTS Texas Clipper II is owned
by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration and
is operated by the officers and cadets of the Texas Maritime