Staff reporter

THE United States training ship TS Empire State VI sailed into Palma yesterday for a break during its Mediterranean tour as part of the college's summer term. The Empire State is the training ship of the State University of New York Maritime College and a tour of duty onboard is part of the four-year courses the college offers. Throughout the academic year, Maritime cadets train to operate the Empire State VI, using the ship as a living laboratory for the college's various Engineering, Naval Architecture, Marine Environmental Science, and International Transportation and Trade programmes. Each summer, college cadets travel across the world, learning about the maritime industry and the operations of the ship while acting as the ship's crew. However, it has not always been plain sailing for the ship, On January 3, 1994, the Empire State VI was activated from the Ready Reserve Force to support the withdrawal of American forces from Mogadishu, Somalia. The Empire State VI is a 17'160-ton ship, 565 feet in length, with a beam of 76 feet.
Her geared turbine develops 17'250 horsepower and a cruising speed of 22 knots. During the academic year, the training ship is berthed at Fort Schuyler. Facilities are available on board for laboratory sessions in marlinspike seamanship, marine engineering, communications and electric aids to navigation. The Meteorology and Oceanography laboratory is well equipped to take complete sets of observations in these fields.
During the summer months the ship is steamed on the annual training session for two months straight out on the sea.
The vessel was built for States Steamship Company and was launched on September 16, 1961. She was delivered to her owners in February of 1962 for service in the Pacific trades. In the 1970s, the vessel was purchased by Moore McCormack Lines for the South American trade. She was renamed Mormactide and operated by that company until 1982 when she was taken out of service. The vessel changed ownership one more time. In November of 1988, the Mormactide was taken under tow through the St Lawrence Seaway to Bay Shipbuilding Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. There the vessel was converted to a public nautical training ship and re-named Empire State VI. She was delivered to the State University of New York Maritime College on December 31, 1989.