Historic WW II Ship Sinking in New York After ‘Major Breach’
A "critical piece of our nation’s heritage" is sinking in New York after a "major breach."
A historic World War II ship is sinking in New York State.
USS The Sullivans, a decommissioned United States Navy Fletcher-class destroyer, is sinking in Lake Erie in Western, New York.
"Some of you may have heard, here in Buffalo one of our museum ships, the USS Sullivans has partially sunk at the Military Park pier on Buffalo's waterfront," the United States Coast Guard Sector Buffalo wrote on Facebook Thursday morning.
World War II Ship Sinking in New York
The historic World War II ship began sinking Thursday morning on Buffalo's waterfront at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
"Efforts are ongoing to locate the source of the flooding and eventually de-water the vessel once it’s been patched," the United States Coast Guard Sector Buffalo added.
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown called the ship a "critical piece of our nation’s heritage." It's not fully clear what caused USS The Sullivans to start sinking but Brown confirmed it's due to a "major breach."
"Major Breach" Blamed For Sinking of Ship in Lake Erie
"This morning, the U.S.S. The Sullivans took on water and is partially sinking due to a major hull breach. Efforts are underway to evaluate the situation and take appropriate action to preserve this critical piece of our nation’s naval heritage. Buffalo’s Department of Public Works and the Fire Department are on site and coordinating with the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Servicemen’s Park staff to determine the next course of action," Mayor Brown wrote on Facebook
Emergency crews were at the scene on Thursday, including an underwater diving team to try and determine the cause of the breach and repair the ship.
"Dewatering efforts continue with positive progress, large dewatering pumps capable of removing water at 13000+ gallons per minute have been placed onsite. It’s been estimated there are more than 3 million gallons of water inside the ship," the United States Coast Guard Sector Buffalo wrote on Facebook in an update.
USS The Sullivans Sinking in Buffalo
Top officials in Buffalo say they will make sure the ship does not sink. The President and CEO of the Buffalo Naval Park stated “failure is not an option, and we will remove the water from the ship."
"The Coast Guard will continue to monitor progress and we look forward to USS The Sullivans’ return to operational status," the United States Coast Guard Sector Buffalo added.
Officials don't believe the ship will sink entirely because the lake at the park is only about five feet deep.
History of USS The Sullivans
The USS The Sullivans is named after five brothers from Iowa who died on their ship, the USS Juneau. The brothers were aged 20 to 27.
They lost their lives in 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal. The ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine.