Noise complaints force Maine Maritime Academy to move training ship

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:01 PM EDT
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SEARSPORT, Maine (WABI) -The State of Maine, a training vessel at Maine Maritime Academy, spent Friday re-docking in Searsport.

The ship had been tied up at the town pier in Castine, but at a selectboard meeting on July 6th, Town Manager Shawn Blodgett said he had received 16 complaints from three Castine residents regarding the noise levels from the ship. In an email to WABI, Blodgett said of the more than 20 decibel readings taken, four were found to be over the allowable nighttime limit of 50 decibels.

According to the Ellsworth American, the board voted 2-1 to give the school 30 days to comply with a noise ordinance, or face fines of up to $100 per day. Now, the ship sits dockside at the Sprague Energy Terminal at Mack Point in Searsport.

Attempts to reach Maine Maritime Academy for comment were unsuccessful, but in a post on the Academy’s facebook page, President William J. Brennan said “The distraction of complaints from a few Castine residents is out of proportion and embarrassing. The way in which the Academy, my students and crew have been treated in this matter, is not something I will soon forget.”

The State of Maine normally goes out to sea to complete training requirements for degrees and Coast Guard required operating hours for licenses. Due to Coronavirus concerns, the Coast Guard had granted special permission for those requirements to be met with the ship dockside, also known as a “Fast Cruise.”

Maine Maritime Academy says the students, faculty, and crew will continue to focus on the educational and training mission of the Fast Cruise.

They’ll just be doing it from a different dock.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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