WWII Destroyer ‘USS The Sullivans’ Submerges

The decommissioned Fletcher-class destroyer had been seen leaning on its side and had started sinking in shallow waters of the Buffalo Inner Harbor. Somewhere in the hull of the USS The Sullivans, toward its lower right section, a hole was found. Officials do not yet know how significant a problem it is, but claims are that the worst is over.

The US Coast Guard estimated on Thursday afternoon that there were more than three million gallons of water within the ship. However, Marzello along with other stakeholders vowed that the vessel will soon be repaired and also reopened to its eager visitors.
Paul Marzello, the CEO and president of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park mentioned that he discovered around 10 p.m. on Wednesday that the vessel had started to take in water.

An emergency repair call was made to the BIDCO Marine Group, the firm hired workers to get the hull of the WWII-era destroyer repaired.
Divers were in the water on Thursday near the spot of the breach and trying to assess what resulted in the problem but they were also pulled out as the temperature of the water was cold and it was not too clear, Marzello said.

Image Credits: Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park

Marzello also informed that some sort of an incident had taken place on Wednesday night, however, it is not clear whether that was a puncture or a mere seam-split. He is sure that there is a reason for it. Marzello added that the rate of water that was being pumped out exceeded the amount that was coming in.

It has been more than 79 years since USS The Sullivans was introduced. In recent times, it is desperately needed repairs to keep it from taking on more water. Earlier this month, Congressman Brian Higgins made a declaration of $490,000 as federal funding that had been awarded to the Naval Park.

Saving The Sullivans has been part of an ongoing effort, with support from several sources, including seven countries and about 25 states. After the Naval Park raised about $1 million to keep it in shipshape, yet another fundraiser had taken place at Seneca One Tower last month.

Activities that were undertaken to fix the vessel had begun in August. However, it came to a stop two months later. The plan was to continue the work this Monday.

Per Buffalo News reports that the vessel, named for the five Sullivan brothers who were killed during World War II, is a crucial piece of maritime history that deserves to be preserved even in the future.

Of the earlier announced federal funding, Higgins mentioned that as the decommissioned ship shows its age, this funding will make sure that necessary repairs are completed so that it can continue to be enjoyed and also toured by visitors, community members, and veterans, for years to come.

In a conference held on Thursday afternoon, Marzello said that almost 13,000 gallons of water had been being pumped out of USS The Sullivans each minute. Marzello says that there is a lot of cleanups that needs to be done in recent days. Anyone who wants to help keep the vessel above water can donate.

If you wish to make a donation, please visit www.savethesullivans.org.


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