Thursday, October 10, 2013

Schoolship Season Ends With A Bang

ISEA’s last Schoolship Program of the 2013 season (our 25th!) was on the morning of October 3rd with Kalkaska Middle School.  We had a great trip with light winds and warm temperatures.
This final trip brought our total student population for this season to 4,119, giving a total of 98,809 students since our founding in 1989.
The rain held off for the final trip of the season, but it soon began to rain and thunder, and this weather continued off and on for the next four days.  Around 11 pm on October 3rd, Inland Seas was struck by lightning.  Our deckhand, Ben Clark, was asleep in the foc’s’le, just a few feet from the foremast that was hit.  He awoke to a huge BANG and then the sound of objects hitting the deck above.  He went into the pilot house where he could see the deck and rig.  Nothing looked out of the ordinary, so he went back to bed. 

The next morning it was obvious that we had sustained a lightning strike to the foremast.  Little pieces of the R. M. Young Wind Monitor (anemometer) were scattered on the deck and dock, and the wooden disc that supported the anemometer was lying on the deck, blasted from the masthead by the strike.

All that remains of the Wind Monitor after the lightning strike


As we began a thorough inspection of the vessel we found no structural damage except to one of the topmast shrouds. The bad news was that many of our electronic instruments no longer functioned, including the radar, the pilot house VHF radio, the graph depth sounder, the wind and weather instrument displays, the pilot house GPS and inverter.  We may have to replace the compasses also.  This will run in excess of $9,000, and should be covered by insurance after our $4,500 deductible is paid.
If you would like to make a contribution to help replace the damaged instruments, you can send ISEA a check (write Schoolship Fund in the memo line) or use our secure web site at (type Schoolship Fund in the Special Instructions box).  Any funds received over our deductible will be used for future maintenance and upgrading the Schoolship Inland Seas.

Thank you for your help with keeping our ship sailing and safe. 

Best regards,
Tom  Kelly

ISEA Executive Director
Master, Inland Seas








1 comment:

  1. Update 10-23-13: The R. M. Young Company of Traverse City has offered to replace the damaged weather equipment at no cost. This is a greatly appreciated gift from this local company. Thank you. --Capt. Tom