U.S. Coast Guard responds to sinking of U.S.S. The Sullivans

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo personnel are responding to the partial sinking of U.S.S. The Sullivans at the Buffalo Naval Park.

On April 13th, the vessel experienced an electrical power-loss resulting in the failure of the onboard water discharge pumps. Progressive flooding and extreme weather conditions caused the vessel to list 45 degrees on its starboard side.

Private contractors have been brought on-site by the Buffalo Naval Park to begin dewatering the vessel with four industrial dewatering pumps capable of discharging more than 13,000 gallons of water per minute. U.S. Coast Guard on-scene pollution responders have temporarily halted dewatering operations, due to the discovery of oil products in the water.

The progressive flooding and positioning of the ship has compromised the consolidated oil tanks on board, which led to the release of fuel oil into the permanent mooring area. Sector Buffalo is working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Naval Military Park, and the City of Buffalo to identify the source of the oil discharge and ensure the area has been thoroughly cleared before dewatering operations can resume.

To date, members from Sector Buffalo have coordinated the deployment of 1000 feet of containment boom and more than 2000 feet of absorbent sausage boom to further prevent the introduction of oil into the Buffalo River. Miller Environmental Group has been contracted to conduct oil recovery operations using vacuum truck systems which have collected 2525 gallons of oil. More than 40 contracted personnel from Miller Environmental Group and Bidco Marine Group are continuing in an effort to assess the source of the leak.