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Repairs begin on USS The Sullivans to fix leaks

Four-year-old who donated pennies visits ship
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Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 10:19:11-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park began repairs to the hull of the USS The Sullivans this week. The ‘Save the Sullivans’ campaign started in February when damage to the ship’s hull resulted in leaks that put the ship in danger of sinking.

The President & CEO, Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, Paul Marzello, said donations are the reason the 78-year-old ship was saved.

“There’s divers in the water! We waited a long time for this,” Marzello said. “The ship behind me is symbolic of the people of Western New York. The motto is we stick together. We can’t find a community that can do that any better than Buffalo, New York.”

Locally owned contractor, BIDCO Marine Group, is leading the repairs.

“We are going to use a high-pressure water jet to clean the hull,” Mark Judd, the BIDCO Marine Group President, said. “We are going to apply the only underwater paint that the Navy approved for use on their ships. It’s time sensitive and temperature sensitive.”

You will be able to see the divers and equipment working throughout the next few months.

The 'Save the Sullivans' campaign has yet to reach its fundraising goal of one million dollars. They hope to receive the last $465,000 by Halloween.

One of the first donors was four-year-old, Arrow Swartwout, who we introduced you to last winter.

“He came into my office one day with a whole bag of pennies, nickels, and dimes,” Marzello said. “He was worried the USS The Sullivans was not going to be around when he was going to take a tour this summer.”