This Day in History

This Day in History (1978): 'Great Republic' Joins Fleet As Supply, Training Vessel

The new boat will be manned by a crew of 28; eight regular sailors (including four officers) who will act as instructors, and 20 seamen training to be captains or engineers.

This Day in History (1978): 'Great Republic' Joins Fleet As Supply, Training Vessel

From the June 21, 1978, edition of The Arabian Sun

The "Great Republic" that sailed into Ras Tanura last month bears little physical resemblance to her famous forebear, but to apprentice seamen who will sail her, she is every bit as romantic as the vessel after which she was named.


The original "Great Republic" was one of the legendary clipper ships that plied the 19th century routes from east to west.


"It's common to name new boats after well-known vessels of the past," says Captain Ralph Langan of the Marine Department, adding that the new "Great Republic" incorporates many amenities unheard of in the days of the clipper ships (air-conditioning and 2,000 hp engines among the), not to mention fittings that make this vessel particularly well suited to the dual function she will fill — commissary vessel and training vessel.


According to Marine Department spokesman Barry Clark, the new "Great Republic" will be manned by a crew of 28 -- eight regular sailors including four officers who will also act as instructors, and 20 seamen training to be captains or engineers. The seamen are the advanced students in a group of 200 Saudis trained by the Marine Department each year.


In her new dual role the "Great Republic" will depart from the West Pier each Tuesday carrying supplies and crews (normal crew assignments are 14 days on ship, seven days off) to offshore drilling rigs, platforms, GOSPs, and boats at sea.


Caption for top photo: The "Great Republic" awaits delivery of supplies destined for various offshore locations.


Also on this date

2012 Seventeen people die and another 70 go missing after a boat carrying more than 200 migrants capsizes in the Indian Ocean between the Indonesian island of Java and Christmas Island


2009 Greenland assumes self-rule


2006 Pluto's newly discovered moons are officially named Nix and Hydra


2004 "SpaceShipOne" becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight


1989 The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Texas v. Johnson that American flag-burning is a form of political protest and thereby protected by the First Amendment


1982 John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan


1978 The original production of the musical "Evita" opens at the Prince Edward Theater in London


1957 Ellen Fairclough is sworn in as Canada's first female Cabinet minister


1944 Ray Davies of the English rock group The Kinks is born in London


1929 An agreement brokered by U.S. Ambassador Dwight Whitney Morrow ends the Cristero War in Mexico


1898 The U.S. captures Guam from Spain as warning shots fired by U.S. naval vessels are misinterpreted by the Spanish garrison as salutes


1749 Halifax, Nova Scotia, is founded


1307 Kulug Khan is enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan


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