As Rhode Island’s Tall Ship, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, enters its final phases of construction, the non-profit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) has named Captain Richard Bailey as the ship’s Master and Jessica Wurzbacher as the Education Director.
“For centuries now, tall ships have proven themselves to be timeless tools for adventure education,” said Bailey, who has commanded the HMS Rose, Spirit of Massachusetts, Westward, Harvey Gamage and Gazela Primeiro. “Today, nearly every maritime nation operates a sail training ship. The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is singular in this one respect: it’s not a naval training ship. Instead it will offer education to non-military students of all ages. This is an opportunity for people to experience the authentic adventure of old time ‘working sail.’ For me, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry builds on my life experience in ships and sail training. This project has sparked my energy and enthusiasm, and I feel that I could happily sail this tall ship for decades to come.”
“SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is a non-profit maritime campus, offering experience based, core-learning opportunities to a diverse student population aboard a magnificent three-masted, square rigged tall ship,” said Wurzbacher, who has spent six years teaching marine biology and oceanography aboard an ocean-going sailing school vessel. “As members of the crew, students can develop morally, socially and academically as they work together as a team. The strong community that develops among shipmates requires them to put others before themselves and communicate effectively to safely accomplish tasks together and move this giant vessel under the power of the wind.”
The first full-rigged ship to be built in the U.S. in over 100 years, the Oliver Hazard Perry will be commissioned in 2013. For more information on OHPRI’s education-at-sea programs or to request further information on the Plank Owner and Shipbuilding Syndicate challenge grants, visit OHPRI.org.