Duluth East graduate starts new career out on the water

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Wednesday, before East High School’s graduation ceremony started, one student made quite the entrance.

As most students arrived to the ceremony by car… Ethan Rentschler, his family, and mentors all arrived to the graduation ceremony by tug boat to honor his passion for the maritime industry.

“Incredible, it’s just it one of a kind. I never even dreamed that this would happen”, says Ethan.

Ethan Rentschler grew up with a strong maritime background. His parents Dan, who was second mate at the time, and Sarah Rentschler met aboard the aboard the Roger Blough.

And now Ethan is continuing to pursue a career out on the water. He says, "I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was in kindergarten. So I never had to doubt it."

In high school Ethan put in hours of work alongside Edward H. Capt. Bryan Rydberg ever since he was fifteen.

“I would call in a lot of times, I’d actually call in to school and go work for a day. Or I would come in school with no sleep because I was out at like five in the morning”, Ethan says.

Rentschler even obtained his U.S. Coast Guard merchant mariners credentials at just 16 years old.

“It’s great because we really need the younger generation to come up to take our places. And Ethan is enthused, willing to work, and wants to learn. He does a great job,” says Bryan Rydberg.

And because of his gained experience and passion, Ethan now has a job lined up after high school graduation.

Ethan will be working aboard the S.S. Wilfred Sykes at an entry level position in the engine room. He is shipping out to Port Inland, Michigan a day after Wednesday’s graduation ceremony.

And he’s excited, saying, “I love being around big machinery, the people, and just what we do. And the views too! You know it’s a beautiful port to be working in.”

Ethan’s advice to other graduates is, “Whatever position or job you get, or thing you go for, take it and run with it. Do you best and enjoy life.”