As the seasons turn toward the Fall, we are becoming increasingly excited about sailing the brigantine Matthew Turner and about schooner Seaward’s approaching winter season in Mexico. However, while I was preparing to share with you the build updates and details of new organizational partnerships and sailing programs, recent maritime events have compelled us all to revisit and strengthen our commitment to the safety of our vessels, their crew and ultimately our passengers. The devastating loss of life and community in the wake of the fire aboard the dive vessel Conception, and Hurricane Dorian have shocked us all and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected and in anyway touched by these twin tragedies.
Many of the victims of the Conception fire lived in the Bay Area or along the Central Coast. The devastating effects of Dorian upset the lives of thousands of people, including one who is near and dear to us: our master builder, Barry Stompe. Barry, whose grandparents’ home on Great Abaco was totally destroyed by Dorian, will fly to the Bahamas as soon as it is safe to do so, to aid in the recovery effort.
Even before these tragedies, our Board of Directors had formally adopted SAFETY as the first priority principle that will guide our organization going forward. We assure you that we will not only meet all Coast Guard safety standards, we will exceed many of them. As we equip Matthew Turner and revisit equipment and safety standards on both vessels we are also working to ensure that all possible aspects of safety and procedure are addressed and adhered to including captain and crew licenses and training.
Ensuring the best possible safety standards on our vessels is one way in which we can hope to pay tribute to those who’s lives have been forever altered in these recent events.
We thank you, our supporters, volunteer, staff and crew for all that you do for our organization and vessels.
May you have fair winds and a following tide!
Steven Woodside, Executive Officer, Call of the Sea.