USS The Sullivans tilting and taking on water Twitter photo
April 15, 2022 by Ray O’Hanlon
USS The Sullivans, a decommissioned United States Navy Fletcher-class destroyer named after the five Sullivan brothers of World War Two, was today taking on water and partially sinking at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park on Buffalo’s waterfront.
Local news reports, including a report by WKBW, stated that the ship was listing heavily to its starboard side, and sitting lower in the water than usual.
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.
Photos would indicate a great deal lower than merely usual.
According to the report, naval park leadership reports a major breach in the hull has caused the ship to take on water, stated the report.
Emergency repair crews from Bidco Marine Group, including an underwater diving team, are at the scene working to determine what caused the breach. Another crew is pumping water on the deck.
The naval park (it is home to four ships including the Sullivans) says the breach is aft of midship on the starboard side, causing the ship to tilt back and to the right.
The ship was named after the five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, who lost their lives when the light cruiser USS Juneau was sunk at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November, 1942.
In total, 687 men, including the five Irish American brothers, were killed in action as a result of her sinking. USS The Sullivans was named in their honor.
After the sinking of the Juneau the U.S. Navy introduced a new regulation that would prevent siblings from serving on the same ship.
Over time the the ship named after the Sullivan brothers would become an iconic symbol of Irish American duty and service to the United States.
The emergency situation facing USS The Sullivans in Buffalo came in the same week as the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and indeed the sinking of the Russian cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea – the largest battleship sinking since World War Two.