Mass Maritime training ship TS Kennedy involved in near-land strike

At least two reviews are now underway as video obtained by Boston 25 News appears to show the Mass Maritime berthed vessel TS Kennedy nearly striking ground in St. Thomas last week. The video was recorded by several people on board TS Kennedy as it sailed by Sprat Point on the eastern tip of St. Thomas Island.

TS Kennedy is a federally owned training ship that is usually berthed in Buzzards Bay at the Mass Maritime Academy.

In June, the TS Kennedy returned to Mass Maritime Academy after spending 26 days at sea. Dignitaries, including Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, were on hand to welcome the massive ship and its students home. TS Kennedy is currently anchored in the Caribbean island of St. Thomas.

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Another school, Texas A&M Maritime, is sailing TS Kennedy for its students.

On July 15, TS Kennedy, according to several videos recorded onboard the vessel, came perilously close to striking rocks at Sprat Point on the eastern tip of St. Thomas. On video, people reacted to how close the ship comes to a land strike. One person was recorded saying, “We might clear it by 10 feet!”

A spokesperson for Texas A&M Maritime, who was on the bridge when the incident took place, said the matter is under internal review. A spokesperson for the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) said in an email, “We’re looking into it.”

It is not known how close TS Kennedy actually came to striking land. Nor is it known what caused the ship to come so close the rocks at Sprat Point. It does not yet appear that TS Kennedy suffered any damage.