BOURNE (CBS) – Massachusetts Maritime Academy has a 576 foot training ship called the T.S. Kennedy.

Like its name, it’s primarily used to train cadets for life at sea. But the federal government needs it right now in New York and New Jersey.

“The government owns the ship, it’s a federal asset,” says Admiral Rick Gurnon, “and right now they are in need of housing for emergency workers down there and our ship is like a floating hotel.”

So M.M.A. began hustling today to get the ship ready to leave Buzzards Bay, and that takes a couple of days.

“We’re firing up the burners to get the boilers going, ” says Capt. Tom Bushy, “and we’ll fill the ship with fresh water, but while at sea, we can make our own water. We’re expecting to house maybe 300 workers, for as long as a month.”

The rooms are spartan but clean and organized. And right now, FEMA is having a hard time finding rooms for all the disaster relief workers and utility workers.

So the sight of the T.S. Kennedy on Sunday should bring relief to those workers.

“The magnitude of the disaster is huge,” says Congressman Bill Keating, ” and this ship can provide clean rooms, and hot meals and showers for the people who are trying so hard to help people put their lives back together.”

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