BUFFALO, N.Y. — Work continues in Buffalo to save USS The Sullivans six days after the 78-year-old Fletcher-class destroyer began taking on water. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says progress continues to be made, adding that failure is not an option.
"We continue to work in a united, unified and collective fashion on the mission of the repair and recovery of USS The Sullivans," Brown said.
According to the mayor, nearly 60 workers are currently on site at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park as environmental remediation efforts continue. Paul Marzello, president and CEO of the Buffalo Naval Park, says as of noon Tuesday, crews have removed 4,610 gallons of oily waste and 8 cubic yards of oily debris.
Marzello says two divers from BIDCO Marine Group were originally scheduled to go into the water on Tuesday to check out the damage to the ship; however, high winds and high water levels prevented them from entering the water. The plan is to have divers go in the water on Wednesday if conditions are more favorable.
Coast Guard Buffalo Sector Captain Lexia Littlejohn says there are three main goals at this time: the safety of the responders as well as the public, protecting the environment and refloating/repairing The Sullivans. Littlejohn says the Coast Guard has established a safety zone in the Buffalo River, creating "no wake speed" past the Buffalo Naval Park. Littlejohn says this has been implemented to ensure the safety of the divers.
At this time, Marzello says the ship remains "static" adding that there has been no change in position.
In addition, Mayor Brown says there will be a new configuration of the safety fencing around the area, so allowing patrons to go to the Liberty Hound restaurant.
You can watch the full press conference from the Buffalo Naval Park below: