The WWII-era Fletcher-class destroyer USS The Sullivans has suffered a breach in its hull, and has been taking on water since last night. As can plainly be seen, this latest hiccup is a serious problem, that will hamper efforts to rescue and restore the boat.
The ship is considerably listing to its side. This news comes at a time when work on the restoration project was set to get underway. Funding from a number of sources has been secured towards the estimated $1 million to save the ship, but now the restoration game plan – and financial number – wiIl have to be amended, if the ship can be saved at all. What is especially sad is that the ship was that close to being restored – the Buffalo News reports that work was set to commence on Monday, as the waters have been too cold to perform repairs.
Currently, the Naval Park and repair crews are assessing the damage, and are crossing their fingers that the ship can still be saved, although it might take a while for repair crews to report on the extent of the damage. Divers and salvers are in the water. The pumps are on. Let’s hope for the best.
“Things are on the improvement side – we have 4 industrial pumps, pumping 16000 gallons of water per minute,” said Paul J. Marzello Sr., President & CEO Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. “BIDCO Marine is down here, and so is fire, police, and everyone else. We knew that there was a problem last night, and I got down here at 5am. By 7:30am it wasn’t a pretty sight. But reports are coming in, and there’s more than hope. We’re going to fix her, and we’re going to fix her right.”
The photos provided in this posted were taken by Vincent Berbano, Director of Photography at Buffalo Rising.