LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Lake Charles student is having the summer of a lifetime through Texas A&M's "Sea Aggies" program. For the first time in 14 years, sea cadets from Texas A&M's Galveston campus are taking their training directly to the seas. Chase LeBeau, a graduate of St. Louis High School, is with 300 other maritime students and staff on board the ship, The Golden Bear.
"This year the entire corps, the entire academy is together.," said LeBeau. "We're sailing as one unit. It's really cool because everyone connects in a different way than when you are on campus. I saw some of my best friends in the world are guys that I sailed with. I just don't think you can find that anywhere else than on a ship going to sea."
Lynn Hohensee with the Propeller Club is a 28 year active military veterans and the director of the West Cal Port. The Propeller Club helped Chase with a scholarship.
"Anytime we can further the young careers of people that want to go into uniform service, whether it's active duty military or maritime service, we certainly want to do so," said Hohensee.
In a video produced by A&M, students are shown performing their duties on the 500 foot vessel.
"To be able to be on a ship with your entire class, it really takes the classroom to where you can put your hands on what you're learning in the books," said LeBeau. "To be able to share that learning experience with those on board is something you can't get anywhere else."
The floating summer school’s course included a pass through the Panama Canal. They will return the end of August.