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Academy training ships house FEMA Sandy responders

Written by Nick Blenkey

TSKennedyNOVEMBER 13, 2012 Maritime academy training ships have been put in service to house FEMA personnel involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Among them are the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s T.S. Kennedy, which is now serving as home to more than 400 DHS surge capacity force (SCF) volunteers.

Other ships being used similarly are the TS Empire State and TS State of Maine and the Ready Reserve Fleet Vessel SS Wright.

While the Empire State remains at its usual berth at SUNY Maritime College, Fort Schuyler, N.Y, getting the T.S. Kennedy to the region from Buzzards Bay, Mass., involved getting the 405 ft ship prepared for the voyage in about half the 36 to 48 hours it normally takes.

The Kennedy and the Wright (which is normally based in Baltimore) are now docked at Home Port Pier on Staten Island.

The 61 senior cadets who usually live aboard Kennedy have been moved to rooms at the Bay Motor Inn in Buzzards Bay and the Quality Inn in Bourne so that they are close by campus. The ship’s professional crew have gone with the ship, augmented by additional officers and crew hired on for the mission, but faculty have remained at the academy to minimize the disruption to classes.

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