Cadets, training ship stop at Port Canaveral

By Greg Pallone, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 3:43 PM EDT

Cadets training for high-demand, ocean-related careers made a stop on the Space Coast on Tuesday.

  • Maritime cadets from Texas stop in Port Canaveral on training cruise
  • Cadets are aboard training ship General Rudder
  • There's a shortage of maritime industry workers

The 50 students are visiting from Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston as part of their 2017 training cruise.

Each is hoping to work on board cruise ships, freighters, tankers and tugs.

There's a shortage of maritime industry officers, especially since 90 percent of the world's trade being via water.

"There is a lot of comradery that's built on board ships, a lot of reflection time, a lot of 'you' time. And sometimes it's hard to find your own time," Cadet Andrew Bruhl said.

"When you first get your license, you're expected to go out and act professionally and be able to make decisions with multi-million, or billion dollar, ships and cargo," Capt. Justin Pierson said.

The cadets are training on the T.S. General Rudder, a training ship named for a man who led Army Rangers during the D-Day invasion and later became president of Texas A&M. It was once the flagship training ship for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and was the first vessel to arrive at the crash site of Egypt Air Flight 990 in 1999.