In Buffalo, a World War II Vessel Is Sinking and No One Knows Why

It's been there since the 1970s

U.S.S. The Sullivans
The USS The Sullivans lists in the Buffalo River on April 14, 2022.
John Normile/Getty Images

For over 20 years, the USS The Sullivans was a crucial part of the United States Navy. The destroyer was active during both World War II and the Korean War, and was named in honor of the five Sullivan brothers killed during the Battle of Guadalcanal. For the last 45 years, the ship has called a park in Buffalo home. But now its storied history has taken an unexpected turn — earlier this week, the The Sullivans began to sink.

An article at The New York Times has more details on the mysterious event. Very little has changed about where the vessel is — it remains at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. But on Wednesday, the hull of The Sullivans was breached and the ship began to take on water.

What’s most concerning might well be the fact that the cause of the breach is currently unknown. “We have a problem and we don’t know what it is,” the chief executive of the park, Paul Marzello, told the Times.

Divers have been brought in to examine the ship’s hull, and the process of pumping out the accumulated water has begun. In his comments to the Times, Marzello suggested that the hull breach might have come about simply as a result of the ship’s age.

The The Sullivans is a significant vessel for several reasons, including but not limited to its wartime history. According to the Times report, repairs are set to continue on Monday.

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