Despite a waterlogged seafarers’ center, the Seamen’s Church Institute continues steadfast in its mission to help seafarers.
Among those affected by the recent storm, the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) International Seafarers’ Center in Port Newark sustained significant damage. For days following the storm, the port remained closed leaving SCI without access to the heart of its operations within the port. In the interim, the Institute established a telephone hotline for seafarers affected by the storm and in need of assistance.
The flood filled the Center with three feet of water ravaging the entire first floor and its contents, also engulfing three transportation vans now presumed a loss.
Shortly thereafter, ten members of SCI staff arrived at the Center to assess damage and begin cleanup. They mopped, ripped up carpet and removed debris. They scrubbed, moved and cleaned stored artifacts and unpacked many wet Christmas at Sea packages of knitted hats and scarves, preparing them for laundering.
On Monday, November 5, the Port reopened, and SCI resumed its services to seafarers. The building remained closed (still without any electricity or heat), but ship visiting recommenced with no break in enthusiasm.
Cleanup from Hurricane Sandy reveals damage far greater than initial reports conveyed. The hurricane has adversely impacted millions, many of whom remain unseen and unidentified. Among those likely to be forgotten are seafarers.
Although crippled by the storm, SCI continues reaching out to seafarers who need its services. Ramping back up to full capacity will require a complete damage assessment and likely thousands of dollars in repair work. If you would like to help in SCI’s recovery and rebuilding efforts, donate online.