Historic Battleship Springs Massive Leak
Historic Battleship Springs Massive Leak, Crews race in with additional pumps as they struggle to find the source of the problem. Children shimmy up the barrels of massive cannons on the upper decks of the 100-year-old Battleship Texas, focused on firing at an imaginary enemy and oblivious to the tension in the historic vessel’s belly where a crew works on pumping out dozens of gallons of oil-laced water.
The battleship where the young tourists roam became flooded over the weekend. Staff arrived Saturday and immediately noticed something was wrong with the ship that fought in World Wars I and II and has served since 1948 as a memorial and museum to those who sacrificed their lives.
The vessel was sitting awkwardly in its slip. She was lower in the water and listing to the left.
“We got down to the lower portions of the ship and discovered that we had taken on more water than usual in areas that we normally don’t,” ship manager Andy Smith said. “They started pumping throughout the day Saturday, and it got progressively worse.”
The situation was so dire by Sunday that the ship’s caretaker, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, had to find more pumps to help remove the water. Smith said the news got worse on Monday.
Water had entered areas that housed old oil tanks used when the ship was still in active duty and serving in every theater in World War II. The Navy had emptied out the oil before handing the vessel over to Texas, but hadn’t cleaned out the tanks. Smith realized he had an environmental issue on his hands. (AP)