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Training ship encounters punishing seas

A recent trans-Atlantic voyage by the Coast Guard cutter Eagle offered its crew of cadets a harrowing moment when the 295-foot vessel encountered up to 15-foot seas and wind gusts to 45 knots.

Two headsails were tattered by the strong winds and had to be entirely replaced. Other sails needed to be taken in quickly in order to prevent them from being damaged and to help the ship ride more comfortably through the seas.

“It’s a very interesting mix when you’re scared and have adrenaline pumping through your body. At that moment, I was definitely scared, but I was loving it,” said Campbell Fall, a fourth class cadet. “There was a precise moment where everything, the waves, the wind, the rocking of the boat just stopped. It was like there was a click and all that just went away and we knew what we had to do.”

Click here for a firsthand account and dramatic photos from Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Brazzell.