Tanker Opens For Free Tours

Public Invited Into Atlantic Basin

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What do you get a retired New York oil tanker for its 70th birthday?

Cake, it turns out. And a party.

Come Saturday, PortSide NY will host a free open house in the in the Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The Mary A. Whalen has strong ties to New York , as she delivered fuel products along the Atlantic Coast and later worked the Gowanus Canal . After she ran aground on the Rockaways on Christmas Day in 1968, the lawsuit ended up in the Supreme Court. That case determined that in maritime law, damages should be apportioned according to blame.

Portside is a small non-profit that's working to overhaul the Mary Whalen tanker and use her as home base for a maritime community center. Previously, the tanker has been open to the public briefly for Open House New York and was also the setting for a series of operas in the Brooklyn container port in 2007.

Saturday's birthday party is free and open to the public. It will feature visits from other popular boats in the harbor, including the Pegasus tugboat . RSVPs are not required, but requested so that Portside knows how much free cake and coffee to provide.

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