The United Seamen’s Services 2013 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) ceremony was held on November 15th at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, NYC. More than seven hundred guests attended the 44th annual dinner and dance.
The maritime industry’s most prestigious awards were presented at this event. One of them was the AOTOS Mariners Plaque awarded to the Training Ship Kennedy and it’s crew for the outstanding work done during super storm Sandy’s relief effort. The ship and its crew were recognized for its dedication in providing assistance to NY/NJ residents during the tragic event’s aftermath. Accepting the Mariners' Plaque on behalf of the officers and crew of the T.S. Kennedy was Captain Thomas Bushy, master on the training ship and vice president of marine operations at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
The Training Ship Kennedy provided support to relief workers operating in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. Shortly after the storm, the Kennedy relocated to Staten Island, N.Y. to provide accommodations and meals for FEMA, Red Cross and other relief workers. During the post-Sandy relief operations, the ship was operated under General Agent Agreements with MARAD. General Dynamics American Overseas Marine was agent for the Kennedy.
The Kennedy relied on no commercial electrical power and was able to provide a full range of around-the-clock services to emergency responders, who ranged in age from 18 to 80. The vessel provided lodging and meals for an average of 438 people per night for over 42 days.
The T. S. Empire State IV of SUNY Maritime College, and the S.S. Wright of the Marad National Defense reserve fleet were also in the NY/NJ area. Together, with the Kennedy they provided a total of 38,291 berthing nights and 74,540 total meals during the relief effort.
Kudos to these ships and their great crews for putting forth such an extraordinary humanitarian effort in a time of great need.