Emily Lampa was live from the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park and she spoke with Paul Marzello, president of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park about the USS The Sullivans. He says one of the most important jobs that you have on the project is by a gentleman named Andy Barren. He is the senior naval architect, and he has a very important job. His job is to do some hydro-static strength and stability analysis. Paul says with that he is measuring gallon capacity of each compartment on the ship and as we empty one compartment, he might have to fill another compartment on the other side of the ship. He goes on to say our big concern is to take our time and make sure we are absolutely 100 percent sure that we can raise the ship in one piece; the worse thing that can happen is that we take a 50-50 chance and say lets just pump all the water out and see what happens. Paul says that’s not going to happen, it’s very strategic.
There are 62 people on staff working that have come in from all over the country, a couple have been flown in from outside of the country and Marzello says the team is comprised of the Coast Guard, Bidco, TNT, Miller Environmental and of course the Naval Park has our own people involved but it is a unified command in which case every morning at 0700 we meet, we put a daily brief together, a plan of action and at noon we have another meeting in which we talk about what has happened and how we might need to adjust things and we meet again at 1600 which is 4:00 and wrap up the day and debrief and talk about what we are going to do the following day.
Paul Marzello says the operation is broken down into three operations, there’s dewatering operation going on, there is a pollution control going on and then there is a diving operation going on. He says even though there are three different divisions working out here they are all unified in what we are trying to do.
Does the weather affect the divers? Paul says the temperature does not affect the divers; the divers have some heat-controlled suits where warm water is pumped into it ,so they are not affected; the real enemy for us is the wind. The wind will blow that water toward us which raises the water level and when it does that it has the potential to move or let the ship move about and he says that’s the worse thing that we want right now, we want to make sure that the divers in the water are 100% safe.
For more information and the efforts to save the ship go to savethesullivans.org