September 23, 2013

Maine Maritime ship renamed for alumna

The 70-foot vessel is named after Susan J. Clark, Portland Harbor's first female harbor pilot, who died of cancer a year ago at age 48.

The Associated Press

CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy has renamed one of its navigation training vessels in honor of one of the school's most famous alumna.

click image to enlarge

Susan Clark in 2005 aboard a pilot boat heading out of Portland Harbor to a waiting container ship.

Press Herald file photo

The 70-foot vessel was dedicated over the weekend in honor of Susan J. Clark, valedictorian of the Castine school's Class of 1985.

Clark was Portland Harbor's first female harbor pilot and was the first woman to join the Portland Marine Society.

She died of cancer a year ago at age 48.

Friends and family joined to take the maiden voyage of the renamed vessel.

Good friend Capt. David Gelinas told WLBZ-TV that Clark was humble and unassuming, but one of the smartest people he knew.

Clark piloted more than 1,000 ships into Portland Harbor through Portland Pilots Inc., where she'd worked since 2001.

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