Three OSU students were aboard a Pacific Ocean research boat battered by rough seas

Wednesday, February 2nd 2005, 10:15 am
By: News On 6

Hundreds of college students taking part in a semester at sea study program got a little more than they bargained for.

Their 590 foot research boat, the "Explorer" was 600 miles off the coast of Alaska when stormy seas tossed it around like a toy. The students rode out the storm, taking it all in stride. After the storm, the ship limped into Honolulu Harbor. It remains in port for repairs, and then the students will resume their semester at sea.

At least three students from Oklahoma State University were on the ship. They're safe in Hawaii now. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan talks with the Stillwater mother of one of the students.

When Joyce Martin wants to figure out where her son is, she checks a world map. When she wants to know how he's doing - she checks the news. "My daughter said mom, if the ship goes down, Jaret will be the one that makes it home. Everyone is safe and secure, but we also heard there were injuries."

Her son, Jaret Martin, is safe - despite two days on board a cruise ship in rough seas. The ship was hit by a 55 foot wave, and then 35 foot swells. The motion wrecked some of the ships interior, and left a few people hurt. Martin told his mother by phone from Hawaii the rough weather lasted a couple of days. "When they were hit by the wave they lost their control systems and had just a compass, they had no instruments that could help guide them along."

Jaret told his mother despite the situation, most students were in good spirits, looking forward to the unscheduled stop for repairs in Hawaii. “They will have a great time, they were thinking about where they could go on the island."

Jaret's on the ship for a whole semester - not scheduled to return until the end of April. He's studying finance, but most on board are studying fields related to the sea. All got a lesson in the power of the ocean.