BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park officially reopened for the season. A ribbon cutting helped kick off the park’s 44th season.
Much of U.S.S. The Sullivans will once again be open to the public. The ship took on about one million gallons of water last April. Crews worked to repair close to 60 holes. However, below deck is still closed to the public.
“I’m thinking sometime in May we will be able to announce what is the next step for the ship. Very likely, it could be that she’s going to be put into dry dock for a few months, come back here, and when she comes back here, hopefully she’ll be in great shape,” said Park President and CEO, Paul Marzello.
New areas of U.S.S. The Sullivans will be open to the public for small, special guided tours.
U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Mario Roy received special recognition Saturday for his volunteer work aboard the ship.
As a fellow military member, I understand the value in preserving those ships and the history they represent,” he said.
Last April, the World War II ship took on one million gallons of water and began to sink.
Roy said once he learned of the ship’s damage, he knew they would need all hands-on deck. He’s been volunteering at the park for about 20 hours a week ever since.
“He has been amazing. He has painted. He has worked on electrical. He has worked on whatever we needed him to do,” explained Marzello.
“Originally, I volunteered thinking they’d let me paint or scrape rust off something. But they’ve let me do so much more and I can’t thank them enough for that opportunity,” Roy said.
Ali Touhey is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2023. View more of her work here.