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Officials are celebrating success in saving USS The Sullivans

Visitors will soon be able to walk on the decks of USS The Sullivans and see firsthand the progress made it in righting the ship.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Officials with the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, City of Buffalo, U.S. Coast Guard, and staff, divers, and salvage experts with Bidco Marine and T & T Salvage are taking a celebratory bow with their success in refloating the 80-year-old USS The Sullivans, which had sunk by the stern after hull leaks developed.  

And now on Memorial Day weekend, they are indeed appropriately planning on reopening the Buffalo Erie County Naval and Military Park. That way you'll be able to walk on the decks of USS The Sullivans as visitors to see firsthand the progress they made it in righting the ship.

You can't go inside, but again, you can go on deck.

There is time-lapse video to show you the 22-day effort to refloat this ship after it took on water April 13 and then started listing.

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Lexia Littlejohn says the ship, which was listing at a precarious 20-degree-plus angle, is now back to roughly a 1 percent slight, or less list, to starboard (or the right).

They managed to pump out 585,000 gallons of water and also contained and removed residue oil contamination from the World War II veteran ship. They have also been able to remove save some  precious historic artifacts from inside the ship. 

Mayor Byron Brown has said before that this project would be very expensive and noted again that it was "in the range of millions of dollars," even without a total accounting of items like extensive salvage including use of divers. 

Brown did say, "We are going to look to federal and state government, particularly federal government, for support and addressing the needs of what we've done, what we will do. It is going to be expensive. The city does have a rainy day fund. It's not for these purposes, but we are thankful for the commitments that we have received at the federal level."

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to find some federal funding for the effort and Mayor Brown previously said he has had talks with the highest levels of state government. 

Divers are continuing the originally planned patching work on the fragile hull  as they use epoxy to help seal the ship from any more leaks.  


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