BoatUS hands out Sea Scout award

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Sea Scout Ship 678, known as Tsunami, was awarded the BoatUS Flagship Award at the Boy Scouts of America annual meeting on Friday in San Diego. The ship hails from Battle Ground, Wash.

Sea Scout units, called “ships,” are part of BSA and use boats, seamanship and nautical skills to develop character and leadership qualities in young people, both male and female.

BoatUS originated the Flagship Award in 2002 to recognize excellence in program quality, youth achievement, adult commitment and to mark the 90th anniversary of Sea Scouting, a co-ed program for young adults age 14-20. Approximately 6,000 youth participate in Sea Scouting in 557 Ships nationwide.

Sea Scout Ship 678 Tsunami operates on the lower Columbia River and trains on a range of boats including a converted, 36-foot former Viet Nam-era minesweeper launch that runs on 75 percent biodiesel fuel.

Known for leaving the scent of French fries in its wake, the vessel began using the environmentally-friendly fuel made from reclaimed cooking oil as part of a high school class project.

Also in the Portland-area Sea Scout fleet are a 29-foot ketch-rigged sailboat, a 64-foot former minesweeper and underwater cable maintenance boat, a rigid hull inflatable and a fleet of 15-foot sloop-rigged sailboats. To see video of some of the Ship’s activities, go to

Last year the ship and its crew logged 42 days of on-the-water activities aboard its vessels. In addition, Ship 678 conducted four community service projects in and around its Portland homeport.

Charles Wurster, National Sea Scout Commodore (US Coast Guard retired), presented the award on behalf of BoatUS. A perpetual trophy bearing the names of the annual BoatUS Flagship winners resides at the BSA National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.

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