Flagship Niagara League Announces New Captain

Posted: January 2, 2014 11:30 am


Press Release (For Immediate Release)

December 26, 2013

Flagship Niagara League (FNL) Announces New Captain of the US Brig Niagara

Erie, PA- The Flagship Niagara League announces William Sabatini, former Chief Mate of the Niagara has been promoted to Captain. Sabatini will become the fourth Captain of the Niagara. Sabatini joined Niagara in 2005 as Third Mate and has been Chief Mate for the last six years. Sabatini received his education at Maine Maritime Academy and has prior experience on traditional schooners. “We’re excited for a smooth transition as Billy becomes Niagara’s newest Captain.” – Walter Rybka, Senior Captain.

Captain Wesley Heerssen is stepping down as Captain of the US Brig Niagara. Heerssen joined the Niagara 13 years ago and has been captain for the last 11 sailing seasons. “I wish Wes well in his new endeavor. He has successfully sailed Niagara while teaching and training others.” – Walter Rybka, Senior Captain- US Brig Niagara. “Heerssen was instrumental in developing Niagara’s Sail Training Program and is responsible for what it has become today. He has been a true asset to Niagara and FNL.” –Tim Goldsmith, Board President of the Flagship Niagara League.

A formal announcement and press conference will be held on Thursday, January 2, 2014, 3 pm at the Erie Maritime Museum. All media inquiries and questions will be addressed at that time. No further comments will be made until the Jan 2 press conference.

The U.S. Brig Niagara is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and is operated by the Flagship Niagara League (FNL), a 501 (C) 3 non-profit educational associate organization of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), chartered to facilitate citizen participation and operation of the US Brig Niagara and its homeport, Erie Maritime Museum.


For additional comments, contact Erin Ahlgren at 814-452-2744 x223.

Don’t Give Up the Ship!