USCGC EAGLE Returns to Norfolk for First Tall Ship Visit of 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
USCGC EAGLE Returns to Norfolk for First Tall Ship Visit of 2022
Date: Monday, March 7, 2022
Norfolk, VA – The 295-foot USCGC EAGLE, the flagship of the U.S. Coast Guard, has announced its grand return to the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront from Friday, March 18, 2022, to Monday, March 21, 2022, marking the first tall ship visit to the Mermaid City of 2022.
The USCGC EAGLE is a three-masted barque used as a training vessel for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. Known as “America’s Tall Ship,” the majestic EAGLE is the largest tall ship flying the Stars and Stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service, and one of only two commissioned sailing vessels, along with the USS Constitution.
The EAGLE will arrive in Norfolk at approximately 10am on Friday, March 18. Public tour information can be found below. All dates and times are subject to change. Additional information on the USCGC EAGLE is available here.
USCGC EAGLE Public Tour Days & Hours:
Friday, March 18, 2022 – Noon-5pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 11am-7pm (10-11am for military members, veterans & first responders)
Sunday, March 20, 2022 – 11am-7pm (10-11am for military members, veterans & first responders)
Monday, March 21, 2022 – Not open for public tours
Additionally, all guests who come onboard for tours are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Other restrictions include no animals onboard.
The USCGC EAGLE is the seventh U.S. Coast Guard cutter to bear the name in a proud line dating back to an original Revenue Cutter built in 1792. This Eagle was built in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as Horst Wessel in 1936.
Originally operated by Nazi Germany to train cadets for the German Navy, the ship was a reparation for the United States after World War II. In 1946, a U.S. Coast Guard crew – aided by the German crew still on board – sailed the tall ship from Bremerhaven to its new homeport in New London, Connecticut. Eagle returned to Bremerhaven for the first time since World War II in the summer of 2005, to an enthusiastic welcome.
Built during the twilight era of sail, the design and construction of EAGLE embody centuries of development in the shipbuilder’s art. The hull is steel, four-tenths of an inch thick. There are two full-length steel decks with a platform deck below. The raised forecastle and quarterdeck are made of three-inch thick teak over steel, as are the weather decks. EAGLE eagerly takes to the elements for which she was designed. Effortlessly and gracefully, she drives under full sail in the open ocean at speeds up to 17.5 knots.
The Coast Guard Academy was originally founded in 1876 when nine students boarded the Revenue Cutter Dobbin. A series of cutters followed the Dobbin and, in 1932, a permanent shore facility was established at its present site on land donated by the New London community. Approximately 1,000 men and women attend the Academy each year, all of whom will sail at one time or another on America’s only active duty square-rigger.
EAGLE offers future officers the opportunity to put into practice the navigation, engineering, and other professional theory they have learned in the classroom. Upper class trainees exercise leadership and service duties normally handled by junior officers, while underclass trainees fill crew positions of a junior enlisted person, such as helm watches at the huge wooden wheels used to steer the vessel. Everyone who trains on Eagle experiences a character building experience.
To maneuver EAGLE under sail, the crew must handle more than 22,000 square feet of sail and five miles of rigging. Over 200 lines control the sails and yards; every crewmember, cadet and officer candidate must become intimately familiar with the name, operation, and function of each line.
A permanent crew of eight officers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship year round. They provide a strong base of knowledge and seamanship for the training of up to 150 cadets or officer candidates at a time.
On the decks and in the rigging of EAGLE, young men and women get a taste of salty air and life at sea. They are tested and challenged, often to the limits of endurance. Working aloft, they meet fear and learn to overcome it. The experience builds character and helps future officers develop leadership and teamwork skills that prove valuable throughout their careers.
USCGC EAGLE FACTS & FIGURES
• Length of Eagle: 295 ft. (roughly equivalent to a football field)
• Number of sails: 23
• Sail area: 22,227 square feet
• Tallest mast: 150 feet (roughly equivalent to a 15-story building)
• Length of rigging: 6 miles
• Working crew: 55
• Maximum people capacity: 239
• Weight: 1,655 tons (Eagle’s hull and decks are made of steel)
• Speed under sail: 17 knots (20 mph)
• Speed under power: 10 knots (11 mph)
• Gallons of fuel oil: 24,215
• Weight of anchors: 3,860 lbs
ABOUT CAPTAIN MICHAEL A. TURDO
U.S. Coast Guard Commanding Officer, USCGC EAGLE (WIX 327)
CAPT Turdo is a permanent Cutterman with ten years at sea. Prior afloat assignments include Deck Watch Officer USCGC Forward (WMEC 911) in Portsmouth, Virginia; Executive Officer USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Commanding Officer USCGC Baranof (WPB 1318) deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Commanding Officer USCGC Key Biscayne (WPB 1339) in St. Petersburg, Florida; Executive Officer USCGC Eagle (WIX 327) in New London, Connecticut; Commanding Officer USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907) in Boston, Massachusetts.
Previous assignments ashore include: Command Center Duty Officer at Coast Guard Activities New York; Company Officer at the United States Coast Guard Academy; Staff Officer in the Office of Defense Operations, Coast Guard Headquarters; Chief of Professional Maritime Studies at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
CAPT Turdo is a 1997 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Government. He also holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He currently resides in East Lyme, Connecticut with his wife, Wendy, and their two daughters.
For more information on Norfolk Festevents and the 2022 Season of Events, visit Festevents.org.
Norfolk Festevents, Ltd., based in Norfolk, Virginia, is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating the most dynamic urban waterfront community in America through innovative programming and imaginative uses of its historic waterfront spaces. Norfolk Festevents has garnered international acclaim for its advocacy for public access to waterfronts, outstanding quality programming and development of public spaces, transforming Norfolk into one of the most progressive, fun, and livable waterfront communities in the country. Residents, workers, and visitors to Norfolk and The 757 are invited to experience all the fun and excitement of the 2022 season, which marks Norfolk Festevents’ 40th Anniversary Season!