Captain Eric (Rick) Williams
United States Coast Guard (Retired)
What fuels my interest in OHPRI...
Most of my life has been involved with the Ocean. I grew up teaching sailing on Cape Cod and Tabor Academy, and following college joined the Coast Guard for a 31 year career. Upon retirement I was recruited on to the Board of the American Sail Training Association for my technical knowledge of Coast Guard regulations. That experience reinforced my observations of the profound growth and character building potential for young trainees as they became crew members participating in the operation of a sailing ship. The team work required to successfully and safely operated a vessel as complex as Oliver Hazard Perry is obvious to all hands, and the experience off shore, early morning, sunrise, at sea with nothing but water on the horizon is unmatched. When it's your turn to come on deck in poor weather to relieve the watch, there's no choice; you learn responsibility and being an important part of a team. I was excited to join the Board as I firmly believe in the value of sail training, and what better way than in a large complex sailing ship professionally crewed by exceptional caring sailors?