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A New Way to Get Underway – Training Vessel Shuman

By Stefanie Senkow
April 19, 2019
(Edited April 24, 2019)

Training Vessel ShumanNEW LONDON, Conn. -- Cadets are climbing aboard the Academy’s newest vessel this spring—SHUMAN. Specifically dedicated to ship navigation training, SHUMAN will increase and maximize cadet exposure to the underway experience.

“Up until this point, cadets primarily learn about electronic ship navigation and being underway in the classroom and through our ship simulators,” said LT. Myles McCarthy, Professional Maritime Studies instructor. “SHUMAN is a first for the Academy. Our other training vessels teach cadets ship handling techniques, while SHUMAN is specifically targets electronic and terrestrial navigation.”

All cadets must participate in the Professional Maritime Studies curriculum at the Coast Guard Academy to learn the fundamentals of the sea. The addition of SHUMAN, which will undergo repainting to model traditional cutters, gets cadets that much closer to life aboard a Coast Guard cutter before becoming commissioned officers.

“SHUMAN’s bridge models that of the cutters out in the fleet, in addition to being a faster vessel that’s built to withstand inclement weather,” said LT. Curt Gookin, SHUMAN Project Manager. “Additionally, we can travel much further in this vessel, going as far as Watch Hill in Rhode Island in a standard lab period.”

Currently, first class cadets are the first to test the waters aboard SHUMAN. With ample space for multiple cadets to apply their skills, SHUMAN allows cadets to step into roles such as Conning Officer, Officer of the Deck, Navigation Evaluator, Shipping Officer and Helmsman.

“When I spoke with LT McCarthy about the future plans for SHUMAN, he mentioned the possibility of overnight trips up the coast of New England during the second class summer training program that would allow cadets to rotate through positions and learn how to handle a ship that maneuvers similarly to the way cutters do,” said First Class Cadet (1/c) Alex Broomfield.

“We learned how to manage a ship bridge through the first half of our semester in the simulators and then were able to apply it in real life on SHUMAN,” said 1/c David DeMaio. “Before even getting out of the Thames River, we were having radio communications with another vessel to allow for safe passing arrangements. We also got to use ECDIS which is the navigation system used out in the fleet. The SHUMAN really put us in that officer role which we will be filling in a few short weeks. I think the SHUMAN is a great addition to the Academy and has improved my knowledge on how to be a Coast Guard Officer.”