CASTINE- How does jumping into frigid waters 70 yards away from shore, fully clothed with nothing but a life-jacket and your own swimming abilities to keep you afloat sound?
Some students from Maine Maritime Academy could tell you after their experience Sunday.
195 first year aspiring mariners got their feet wet at the annual Maine Maritime Academy ship jump.
But because of the pandemic, this year’s ship jump is different from years past.
“It’s certainly has made this a much more complicated circumstance for us but nevertheless it is important thing for us to do as part of the preparation and also because of the importance of the tradition and the camaraderie that we tried to build here,” academy president Bill Brennan said.
This year, the annual tradition had a lot less people in attendance, because the public was not allowed to watch students plunge into the depths of the bay.
Even all of the students couldn’t attend like they’d do in years’ past
“This spirit that we would typically would see has been lessened because of the impact of the virus,” he added
But nonetheless, the students lined up to the top of the training ship to jump the 40 feet into the water, so they cold have real world experience of properly exiting a boat.
“Once I got on the platform and actually saw the platform, I got a little nervous. And then on the jump, don’t really know what I was thinking, just don’t go head first I guess,” academy student Cameron Sprott said.
“I was just nervous about the initial shock about it being cold, but you get that drop in your stomach as soon as you’re going down, but other than that it was a ton of fun,” academy student Megan Durrua said.
Another said that in spite of the pandemic, this tradition did well to unify the students,
“Ship jump is a very special moment for everybody, including the mugs and the strikers. We taught all these kids how to bee good shipmen in the school. Just being able to do ship jump this ear has been great,” Maine Maritime Acadmey student John Egger said.
The event is available to view on the academy’s Facebook page.