A decommissioned WWII-era United States Navy ship is sinking at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park in New York.
A photo posted on Twitter on Thursday showed USS The Sullivans, a Fletcher-class destroyer, partially submerged in Buffalo’s waterfront.
“Our @ErieCountyESU is on site at the @BfloNavalPark assisting the Park with the listing of the USS Sullivans,” Mark Poloncarz tweeted. “A request has been made to the NYS Office of Emergency Management for special pumps.”
Earlier Thursday, the ship was seen sitting lower in the water than it usually does, tilting heavily to its starboard side.
“BREAKING: Part of WWII era USS Sullivan’s deck is feet away from being underwater. Crews here say there’s no power @WKBW,” reporter Michael Schwartz tweeted.
“Ship is stable now, but you can see how close it is to the water line @WKBW,” Schwartz wrote in a follow-up tweet.
The Naval and Military Park wrote in a Facebook post that a “serious hull breach occurred aft of midship on the starboard side” of USS The Sullivans. The ship was closed to the public while officials worked to assess the damage.
The park said its crew worked through the night to “minimize damage and remove water from the ship.” Marine engineers and members of BIDCO Marine Group, the Buffalo Fire Department, Buffalo Police Department, Homeland Security, and Coast Guard assisted in the response.
For over a year, the park has been working to raise money to “Save the Sullivans and repair the hull,” reaching its goal of $1 million in November 2021.
“Divers were in the water last summer and fall to begin work using a Navy-approved two part epoxy, but once the water temperature dropped below 54 degrees they had to pause for the winter,” the park said in a Facebook post. “The plan is still for that work to resume once the temperature increases.”
“The breach that occurred yesterday appears to be a new issue and we are working diligently to understand the cause and address it as quickly as possible,” the post continued. “We will provide additional updates as we learn more from the initial assessments. We appreciate everyone’s support and the offers to help. This is truly the City of Good Neighbors and this historic ship continues to guide us to stick together.”
Donations can be made at www.savethesullivans.org.
USS The Sullivans was commissioned in 1943 and was used in the Pacific during World War II.