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Work to repair USS The Sullivans hull begins

The $1 million repairs to save the ship began on Tuesday, six months after damage resulted in leaks that threatened to sink the ship.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Repair work has begun on USS The Sullivans to prevent the ship from sinking.

According to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, they have special equipment, barges and divers onsite to repair the hull of the historic Naval ship.

“We are excited and relieved that today we have ‘divers in the water’ and repair work has begun in earnest to save this historic ship,” said Paul Marzello, president and CEO for the Buffalo Naval Park.

USS The Sullivans (DD-537) is a 78-year-old Fletcher-Class destroyer that was used in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War. The ship is named after the five Sullivan brothers who were serving on the USS Juneau together when they were all killed in action on its sinking in 1942. The ship is a historic landmark. 

The ship, which is a major attraction at the Naval Park, was damaged in February and put in danger of sinking. 

“BIDCO [Marine Group] previously conducted a full bow-to-stern survey of the hull and developed the repair plan that includes applying a two-part epoxy coating to the entire hull below the waterline and the installation of a cathodic protection system that will prevent further corrosion of the USS The Sullivans, the USS Little Rock and the USS Croaker,” said Marzello.

The repairs are estimated to cost $1 million and to raise the funds the Naval Park started the Save the Sullivans campaign. Douglas Jemal volunteered to act as campaign captain alongside Kelly Sullivan who is the granddaughter of Albert Sullivan, the youngest of the five Sullivan brothers.

So far the campaign has raised over half of the funds needed and hopes to raise the remaining $465,000 by the end of October. Contributions can be made online or by mailing to Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, ATTN: Save the Sullivans, One Naval Cove, Buffalo, New York, 14202 or by calling the dark at (716) 847-1773, ext. 10.