Someone pointed out to me tonight that every single stakeholder — other than three people — thinks sea year is safe. Let’s review:
- We know the midshipmen think it’s safe — many of whom have sailed on commercial ships;
- We know their parents think it’s safe — many of whom have sailed on commercial ships;
- We know the alumni think it’s safe — all of whom have sailed on commercial ships;
- We know the maritime unions think it’s safe — and their members have all sailed on commercial ships;
- We know the shipping industry thinks it’s safe — and they run the commercial ships;
- We know the state maritime schools think it’s safe — they wasted no time placing their midshipmen into the billets on commercial ships that were vacated when sea year was cancelled.
Now let’s look at the three people who don’t think it’s safe:
- Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen;
- Superintendent James Helis; and
- Academy Advisory Board Chair Sharon van Wyk.
Guess what they all have in common? <trick question alert>
a) none of them have ever been employed on a commercial ship;
b) none of them are graduates of a maritime academy, state or federal;
c) none of them are USCG licensed officers eligible to stand a watch on a commercial ship;
d) all three were in the room on June 10, 2016 with Secretary of Transportation Foxx, trying to explain why the Academy was in danger of losing accreditation because of events that occurred on their watch — six days before the
stand down cancellation was announced;
e) none of them had uttered a peep about an SA/SH problem during sea year until they needed an excuse to explain why the Academy was placed on accreditation warning status by MSCHE.