The Navy warship USS Squall arrived in Wilmington Thursday. You will be able to tour it this weekend as a part of Riverfest. And if you are lucky, you will get the chance to meet its very unique captain. The USS Squall navigated the Cape Fear River, and then docked in downtown Wilmington, under the watchful eye of Captain Emily Cathey. “Women were not allowed on combatant ships until 1994 so slowly we're seeing more and more female captains," said Cathey. Lt. Cathey is the only woman on board the Navy warship. "I think it’s probably a lot harder for the guys than it is for me. Being in the Navy the majority of my experience has been working with men so I don't find a problem with it and I don't think they do either," Cathey said. Three months ago she became captain and is now the one in charge of the 26 man crew. "I am responsible for the ship. I am responsible for the crew and all the missions. I am responsible for them all the time," added Cathey. She has spent most of her time as captain in the Arabian Gulf, with the mission of defending the gulf's oil platforms. This weekend, the ship and crew are taking a break to celebrate Wilmington Riverfest. This is a stop this North Carolina native has been looking forward to. "I'm from north of Charlotte and I spent my time growing up coming down to Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington. I cannot tell you how happy I am personally to be back in North Carolina," Cathey said. The weekend tours of the ship are free. There are a ton of other events going on downtown this weekend, including food, arts, crafts, live music and water sports competitions.
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