Ship departs from Throgs Neck to help oil refineries in the Gulf Coast

Bronx residents are not only helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina but also the oil refineries ruined by the Category Five storm.

Officials say the ship, The Empire State, which is normally docked at Maritime College in Throgs Neck, has been deployed to help rebuild oil rigs in the Gulf Coast. The Empire State is generally used to train Maritime students but starting Sunday afternoon its destination has changed. The ship will serve as a floating hotel for more than 650 oil refinery workers near New Orleans. Crew officials say they will provide the workers with basic necessities such as food, showers and an air-conditioned bunk.

The Empire State?s crew, which consists of 35 Bronx residents, says they are unsure when the ship will return home. They say they have been told to plan for anywhere between 30 to 60 days, but could stay for as long as six months.Related Stories:

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