As Coast Guard cadets prepared to graduate from the Coast Guard Academy, there was one more test to endure. A power outage threatened graduation and gave a lesson in resiliency training before they received their diplomas.
Since Monday morning, the base has been dark. Campus leaders are still working with the electric company to restore the power, but graduation did go on.
“One of the things the Coast Guard does really well is when we encounter difficulties, we work together to solve the problem,” Commander Bob McKenna, of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, said.
The campus is depending on more than a half a dozen generators, many of which were borrowed from other bases. Some buildings and barracks are in the dark and workers have to walk the halls with flashlights.
About 400 cadets are having to deal with the darkness while they stay on campus for summer training, and sophomore Eric Doherty said everyone is taking it in stride.
“Somebody happened to find a box of glow sticks, so that's what were using for light, but it just reminds you of being a kid because people of using flashlights to play board games to stay entertained with no Internet, computers or TV or anything,” he said.
Officials hope power will return on Wednesday or Thursday.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech. He is currently serving as National Incident Commander for the oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico.