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SAVING THE SULLIVANS: Five holes patched by dive crew

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Sullivans diver

A diver prepares to go into the water to survey the hull of the USS The Sullivans.

BUFFALO, New York (KWWL) – Even though the weather was less than ideal for most of the day, crews were able to make some progress in saving the USS The Sullivans.

Dive crews were able to get in the water in any open window in the weather they had. They move along the ship's hull looking for anything that's wrong or letting in water. They were successful in the venture Thursday. There were five baseball-sized holes found in the hull and were patched.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the ship is stable but still listing about 15 degrees to starboard. Pumps are running when they can. So far about 11,500 gallons of water have been pumped out of the bow of the ship, which is now floating above the bed of the Buffalo River.

There are large tanks sitting near the park that are being used to pump out some 7,500 gallons of oil and fuel from the ship. Some of this has leaked into the water, but the Coast Guard put up a barrier in the water to contain any spillage to a small area.

Divers were still in the water around 7 p.m. to make the best of the good weather they had Thursday. Once divers are able to complete their survey of the hull, the information will be passed along to T&T Marine which has the contract to repair the ship.

There's still no word on the condition of any of the artifacts inside the ship. It's also not known what exactly caused the ship to sink.

The leaders of the operation expect Friday to prove fruitful in further efforts to save the ship.