America’s Tall Ship departs Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, known as “America’s Tall Ship,” home ported in New London, Conn., departed Charleston Monday afternoon to continue its participation in Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009.

The present day Eagle has become a recognizable symbol of the U.S. Coast Guard. Known throughout the world for its history of belonging to the Germans, the Eagle was originally a training vessel for the German navy in World War II and was previously named Horst Wessel. In 1946, following WWII, the Horst Wessel was taken as a war prize by the United States and is the seventh ship to be named Eagle in Coast Guard history.

The operational crew of the Eagle consists of six officers and 55 enlisted personnel whose primary mission is to train future Coast Guard officers in fundamental leadership, teamwork and seamanship skills, and serve as an international ambassador when visiting foreign ports.

Eagle is an 1800-ton steel hull, three-masted sailing ship with more than 21,000 square-feet of sail and more than five miles of rigging. The 295-foot Eagle is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. military service and is home ported at the Coast Guard Academy in New London.

Sailing schedules, daily photos, journal entries and other information about the vessel can be found on the Eagle’s website at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/uscga/eagle/eagle.htm.

The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-London-CT/United-States-Coast-Guard-Barque-EAGLE/45382907932?v=wall&viewas=0.

More information on Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009 can be found at http://www.tallshipsraces.com/atlanticchallenge/.

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