Coast Guard Cutter Eagle to visit Key West

300 - EagleKEY WEST, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is scheduled to arrive at the Mallory Square pier in Key West, Florida Friday, May 22 at 9 a.m. as part of their 2015 cadet summer training deployment.

The Eagle will be open for free public tours on Friday, May 22 from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, May 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 7 a.m.

At 295 feet in length, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service.

Constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy, the Eagle was taken by the United States as a war reparation following World War II.

With more than 23,500 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle has served as a classroom at sea for future Coast Guard officers since 1946, offering an at-sea leadership and professional development experience. Currently, there are 150 cadets from the Coast Guard Academy embarked. The summer deployment for the Barque spans 17 weeks, stopping at 14 port calls in three countries, with five different groups of cadets and officer candidates training onboard.

A permanent crew of eight officers and 57 enlisted personnel maintain the ship and guide the cadets through an underway and in-port training schedule, dedicated to learning the skills of navigation, damage control, watchstanding, engineering and deck seamanship.

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