Celebrating US National Maritime Day on a single hull tanker

National Maritime Day in the US, celebrated on 22 May, coincided with the 75th anniversary of the delivery of the Mary A Whalen a fuel tanker in New York harbor perhaps best known for its grounding off The Rockaways in 1968.

The casualty, resulting in part from a channel marking buoy that had a burned out light, led to a US Supreme Court decision on how fault is apportioned in such cases. The vessel, now berthed in Red Hook, Brooklyn, once the site of bustling general cargo dock, is now the home of PortSide New York, an organisation focused on reminding a new generation of New Yorkers about the importance of the working waterfront.

Now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it is believed to be the only tanker serving as a cultural center. The occasion was marked by a big celebration for an eclectic group of maritime and neighborhood attendees.

Posted 23 May 2013

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Barry Parker

New York correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

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