News From Fort Schuyler

November 23, 2009 - Volume 9, No. 41

RECOGNITION - The Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame awarded its first Meritorious Service Award to TIMOTHY DELP '88 on October 17, 2009. Tim sails as a deck officer in the Military Sealift Command on a vessel that provides military ships at sea with food, supplies and ammunition. Quoting an article in the Delaware Cape Gazette: "Tim said a while ago, his daughter wrote two sentences that succinctly described what he did. 'My daddy travels all over the world. My daddy keeps care of our country.'" (Thanks to HUGO POLANCO '87 for the heads up about this award.) BTW - In May 2004 Tim was awarded the MSC Mariner Award of Excellence at the Maritime Day ceremony in Norfolk, VA for his work aboard the Fast Combat Support Ship USNS ARCTIC.

DIVERSE IS THE BEST - SUNY Maritime College has always welcomed students from seafaring nations all over the world - as either recent immigrants or as sponsored foreign students. Note was made in last week's NFFS of ALFRED SAMUELSEN '60, who emigrated from Norway. The same issue mentioned a staff member of the college with a Latvian surname, prompting OTTO LIEPIN Oct '46 to write: "Here is the country of Latvia, on the Baltic Sea -- slightly larger than Connecticut/Rhode Island combined -- with a population of around two and a half million providing many seafaring people (women included) to man the present-day ships of the world -- and this has been going on for hundreds of years. My father was a merchant seaman on English ships before WWI and his stories, which I heard while growing up, helped me to get into NYSMA in 1944 - at least I believed this was so when questioned by CMDR GRONBECK '12 at the admissions hearings as to why I wanted to go to sea."

In recent years Fort Schuyler has educated contingents of future seafarers from Turkey, Liberia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Bahamas and soon, China. A posting on the SUNY Maritime College website, announced a dual degree program with Dalian Maritime University, beginning August 2010. Chinese students will spend their first two years at Dalian Maritime then come to Fort Schuyler for their final two years, including one cruise. They will graduate with dual bachelor's degree diplomas in either Marine Transportation (BS) or Marine Engineering (BE). For all the details go to

CALLING ALL PHILANTHROPISTS - The New York Harbor School (see NFFS 9:40), the maritime-themed high school that is moving to Governors Island, still lacks direct water access for its programs. The school wants to renovate a former Coast Guard building on the island to serve as its Marine Science and Technology (MAST) center, but to qualify for a matching grant it needs$500,000 by Dec 31. So far the school has raised $250,000. Individuals or organizations interested in helping should contact the school's founder, Murray Fisher, at

SEABORNE STIMULUS PACKAGE - Costing a billion and a half dollars and measuring 5 times the size of the RMS TITANIC, Royal Caribbean International's new cruise ship, OASIS OF THE SEAS, is getting ready for its maiden voyage from Port Everglades. Built in Finland, she carries up to 6,500 passengers and 2,165 crew members. Measurements include: tonnage = 225,282 GT; length = 1181 feet overall; beam at widest = 198 feet; draft = 31 feet; passenger decks = 16. (For statistics, videos, and all the bells and whistles go to the company website at

RESTORING A CLASSIC - In 1949 the tugboat CORNELL, all 106 feet of her, was built at the Jacobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay. Last month the newly restored tug, sporting her original Lehigh Valley Railroad livery (Cornell red), tied up at the Oyster Bay Waterfront Center. According to an article in Newsday: "The CORNELL is going strong thanks to MATT PERRICONE [Class of 2003], 28, a marine engineer and SUNY Maritime College graduate from upstate Valhalla. He bought the craft for $65,000 in 2007 and began an ongoing restoration, doing most of the work himself, with help from friends and family."

"He decided to buy the CORNELL because 'I've always had an attraction to older vessels and older technology. The price was right and the time was right. I decided that after helping out with a few other restoration projects, I'd take one on myself.' '.. Perricone is in the process of nominating the CORNELL for the National Register of Historic Places." (Go to

EBB TIDE - A graduate from the Class of 1940, ANDREW DANIEL BUTKA, died on 12 November. According to a posting on the Alumni Association website: "Andy was very proud of his association with the Maritime Academy. He was a lifelong advocate of the sea and loved nothing better than to fish. His last job was as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at Brooklyn College." Andy is survived by his daughter, two grand daughters and one great grandson. (

Long-time Radio Officer, NICK F. MARRONE, died on November 13 2009 at the home of his son, Nick, in California. According to a note from TONY DEL TORO, a member of the Science Department staff: "As a radio officer aboard our training ship for many summer sea terms and the chief HAM radio operator during the same period, many Maritime College cadets and ship's personnel who sailed aboard the TSES were able to stay in touch with the folks back home while sailing on the high seas. Personally, I knew Nick well, he was best man at my wedding. He is survived by his son, Nick, Jr. (his daughter, Flavia, passed away about seven years ago.)" Nick lived in Franklin Square for many years A funeral mass was held there at St. Catherine of Sienna Church on Friday, November 20th.

[Your editor recalls numerous cruises with Nick, including one on which his daughter, Flavia, was Ship's Nurse. Nick mentored many cadets in the Ham Radio Club back in the days when "patching in" the ship's ham radio with a shore-side amateur operator was the only affordable way to call home. Nick was gracious, intelligent, and a natural teacher who had a keen sense of humor. He was an ideal shipmate.]