Page 15: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2001)

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WTC Disaster

SCI: Disaster Relief on the Fly

On Tuesday, September 11, New Yorkers — and the world — were jolted into a day of terror and tragedy as two com- mercial jetliners plowed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade

Center, leaving more than 6,000 missing persons.

Seamen's Church Institute (SCI), a perennial source of strength and support for the International maritime commu- nity, went into action immediately, set- ting up a 24-hour relief effort that, over the course of the days following, has served as a safe haven Jor rescue work- ers, New York City police officers, fire- fighters and members of the Army

National Guard.

By Regina P. Ciardiello, senior editor

With its 175-year tradition of respond- ing to mariners in need. Seamen's

Church Institute (SCI), which is located at 241 Water St., in the heart of New

York's "Maritime District," near the

South Street Seaport, has, on many occasion, taken on the role of a "safe haven" during some of the most historic as well as tragic, incidents on the high seas.

According to the Rev. Canon Peter

Larom, SCI's executive director, the

Uji that just days earlier this is the same spot where the Institute holds its Simu- lator Training classes as the entire area was covered with boxes filled with everything from food to socks, to work boots and toothpaste. These items, which were received by the Institute through donations from various church organizations, coupled with the constant flow of volunteers who provided the workers with food and drinks, rounded out what SCI's director of communica- tions, Debra Wagner, dubbed, "emer- gency relief on the fly."

According to Wagner, more than 500

The Rev. Canon Peter Larom, (at left), execu- tive director of the Seamen's Church Institute, with members of a fire company from New- port, R.I., who had visited SCI's 24-hour relief center. (Photo credit: Debra Wagner, SCI).

Institute offered to put up the crews of both the Titanic and the Andrea Doria following their doomed voyages.

More recently however, the Institute came through for the City of New York in 1993, when the World Trade Center was hit with by terrorism when a car bomb exploded in its parking garage.

The Institute allowed the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, whose offices were located in the Towers, to use some of their office space for six months while they rebuilt. This time, however, in reaction to a tragedy of much greater magnitude, SCI put its efforts into high gear as a central relief station for rescue workers. Upon entering the ground floor of the SCI, it is inconceivable to believe



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October, 2001 44E

Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.