Concerns raised over USS Kidd after sister ship starts sinking
BATON ROUGE - A lot of people are having major concerns about the USS Kidd after news broke about her sister ship, USS The Sullivans.
USS The Sullivans in Buffalo, New York started taking on water overnight after it may have been punctured.
"It's just a great way to teach people about our history, and if we don't learn about our history, we will just keep repeating it into the future," explained Rosehn Gipe, the museum's executive director.
The museum has been working for years to raise money to get the retired navy ship some much-needed repairs.
"These are fragile ships. They are affectionately known as tin cans. They need to be cared for, and they need to be saved," Gipe said.
USS Kidd museum organizers are asking legislators for money to start a process that will catch any potential problems, so the ship doesn't go underwater like The Sullivans.
"You would bring the ship into what they call a dry dock, set blocks underneath it and then drain the water out of that dock so that the ship is sitting up on top of the blocks," Gipe explained.
The ship can't be fully examined for damage while it's where it is on the blocks.
"The ship sets down on the cradle on the exact same spot every single time, so while we can look at the hull in between those blocks. We can't address any problems that may be developing where the blocks meet the hull," she said.
The state's outlay budget bill includes $3.6 million for the ship's repairs. The house appropriations committee is scheduled to take up the outlay budget Monday.
The museum is also raising private funds.
"If people are interested in helping support this project, they see what's going on at The Sullivans and want to make sure the Kidd doesn't end up in that situation," Gipe said. "The more funds we can raise ahead of time, the sooner we can get these issues addressed."
For museum organizers, what happened Thursday night reaffirms the need behind the funding.
"You look at The Sullivans and see what's happening to it, and there's the potential for the same thing to happen here," she said.
Officials recommend going to a dry dock every 10 to 20 years for repairs. The last time the Kidd was able to go to a dry dock was more than 60 years ago.
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