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Schumer putting out SOS to federal government to help save The Sullivans

"We cannot let The Sullivans stories sink into the abyss," said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is calling on the federal government to help save USS The Sullivans.

Five days ago the hull of The Sullivans was breached and the historic World War II ship started taking on water. The Sullivans could be seen listing on the shore of Lake Erie. 

The dramatic scene has caused onlookers to flock down to the waterfront to get a look. Thirteen-thousand gallons of water is being pumped out of the ship every minute to help keep it afloat. 

"I am putting out an SOS across the federal government - 'Save Our Sullivans'. I am committed to the mayor and to the park to do everything I can to get federal dollars to help," Schumer said.

Schumer says while there's federal interest to help save the ship, it will be a joint effort. 

"Obviously, it'll be a joint effort between the city, the county, the state, but the federal government should have a real role," Schumer said. "Obviously, this was a Naval ship. And this is a shipyard, the U.S. Navy, the Coast Guard and all of our federal government and the men and women who serve and have served in our military love memorials like this because they remind us of the fights that we've had to make for our freedom over the decades and over the centuries. So there's a strong federal interest in making sure that things can come right back."

Credit: Dave McKinley WGRZ

Senator Schumer said there's a three-pronged plan to help get federal funding to save The Sullivans. According to Schumer, that plan includes congressionally directed spending, using some of the money from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program.

"That's the three-pronged approach that we have so that we can get the kind of dollars that we need. We're not going to let the limitations that have existed in the past on these programs stand in our way," Schumer said.

2 On Your Side's Dave McKinley will have more on this story on Most Buffalo starting at 4 p.m. on WGRZ - Channel 2.

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