By Rosemary Pollock
Sea Trek Final Leg Saved After Financial Threat
LAS PALMAS, GRAN CANARIA, CANARY ISLANDS -- The Dutch sailing ship
Europa was finally joined by the sailing ships Statsraad Lehmkuhl and
Christian Radich after two days of tense fund raising and
negotiations. The 59-day re-enactment, of 85,000 Mormon converts from
Europe to New York and on to Utah began August 6, in Esbjerg,
Denmark, was far from certain, when the ships' Norwegian owners
announced that unless Sea Trek came up with the $550,000 it owed for
the remainder of the voyage, the ships would have to return to Norway.
The next 48 hours found Sea Trek's president, Bill Sadleir,
scrambling to raise the money. London attorneys, reported any tax
reimbursements from Sea Trek in Europe, estimated between $200,000
and $300,000, would be allocated for the ships' expenses. Chris
Bowler, Sea Trek's director of operations in Provo, worked diligently
to collect the $77,000 due from passengers. Friday found Utah
businessman, John Price, contributing $50,000 to the Trek that he
described "with great admiration."
"It has helped millions of people understand and remember the
hardships that people of faith suffered to cross the ocean and seek a
better life here in Utah," said Price who has been nominated by
President Bush for an ambassadorship to Mauritius.
"The Statsraad Lehmkuhl has enjoyed its relationship with the Sea
Trek Foundation," said Norwegian ship representative Per Langhelle.
"Our experience with the Latter-day Saint participants on our ship
makes us believe that there are modern pioneers today who will
support Sea Trek in the same degree that the faithful members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints financially supported
immigrants 150 years ago," he said.
The tab for the entire voyage will be about $6 million, including
fireworks in ports in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland and England.
Sadleir did not name all of Sea Trek's newest benefactors. "I'm so
excited, and I guess now I have to prepare and get some things for
the crossing," said Will Wade, 19, Salt Lake City. "I'm thankful for
the people who made this possible and made it happen. Now you can't
help but better understand just what it means to have to sacrifice."
Sea Trek Ships Win Reprieve
Salt Lake Tribune 8Sep01 N6
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune
Emotions running high on trek
Deseret News 8Sep01 N6
By Tawny Archibald: Deseret News staff writer
Sea Trek is on track again
Deseret News 8Sep01 N6
By Tawny Archibald: Deseret News correspondent
COMMENTARY: The robbery at Sea Trek
Utah co UT Journal 8Sep01 N6
By Mark Stoddard: Journal Publications