Training Ship M/V Forerunner
Clatsop Community College
CCC Marine and Environmental Research Training Station Campus, Astoria
Nelson Log Bronc Co., Coos Bay
335 horsepower Detroit Diesel, single propeller, transit speed 8 knots
2,700 gallon capacity, with 8 gallons of fuel an hour at 8 knots
The M/V Forerunner started its career as a trawl fishing vessel before Clatsop Community College bought it in 1974 to use as a training vessel for the commercial fishing and marine technology programs, including courses in oceanography. The vessel moved to the Marine and Environmental Research Training Station Campus when it opened in 1996. Now, the Forerunner is the flagship of the maritime training ship program.
Eldon Russell, the maritime science instructor who oversees students on the boat, said he has about 25 years of experience on the water.
“At this point in time in my career, this is probably the best thing I think I can do is training some young students coming up in the maritime fields,” Russell said.
The students first learn how to be deckhands, then move on to how to be in the wheelhouse and eventually how to operate the vessel. During the program, they do a lot of safety training, including man overboard drills and CPR, and they have the opportunity to work with different organizations doing scientific experiments out on the water.
“We try to keep as much as we can as real life as possible,” Russell said. “It’s very important for them to understand the responsibilities of what they’re taking on.”