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Crews halt pumping water from USS The Sullivans to tackle oil in ship

Posted at 4:39 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 15:18:20-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mother Nature has not been kind to the crews working around the clock trying to save the USS The Sullivans, which has been taking in water since its hull ruptured late Wednesday night.

On day two of the rescue mission, high winds pushed the decommissioned destroyer further against the dock, and rain caused water levels to rise, making it tough to stabilize the ship.

"Our concern is to make sure that she is righted in a responsible way," said Paul Marzello, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park's President.

In addition to the weather, crews are facing a setback in the effort to pump all the water out of the ship. They've had to stop pumping efforts after they discovered that oil was coming out of the ship. An estimated one thousand gallons of oil was recovered from the ship as of one o'clock Friday, according to Lt. J.G. Andre Clansy.

Yellow booms surround the ship to contain oil in the river.

Environmental cleanup company Miller Environmental is on the scene, working with naval park officials and the Coast Guard to ensure the containment and removal effort is done properly.

"They'll be continuing again to clean up and suck up all the oily water into a tank where they skim the oil from the top of the water," said Clansy.

Earlier on Friday, a dive team from BIDCO Marine Group went into the ship, moving from compartment to compartment to see where water was still coming in, and to make sure water was not coming in behind them.

"It's a dangerous activity. So as we move towards aft, move towards the stern, we think we can move very judiciously," said Marzello.