The World War II ship that would not die is slowly sinking and the Patriots Point Development Authority does not have the funds to save it or other ships housed there. Interim Director Dick Trammell says they need a $9.2 million loan for emergency repairs.
“We’ve got a lot of deferred maintenance that we’ve got to make up for, having a lot of it really come to light in the public eye just a few months ago when we discovered some leaks in the hall of the Laffey and you have to understand the Laffey is an incredible ship, it was the ship that would not die in World War II,” says Trammell.
Before it does end up dying, South Carolina Treasurer Converse Chellis plans to board the Destroyer Laffey on Thursday to see for himself the repairs Trammell says are needed.
“Time is eventually going to get all of us. The Laffey is a ship that’s very unique in the fact that it is a Destroyer. The main thing that we need right now is a backlog on maintenance that has gone on for many, many years, it did not happen overnight. It is something that some will trace back to when the hotel closed in the ’80s and there was a loss of revenue there. They never got to realize the lease revenues from it,” says Trammell.
As for saving the vessels, “Attendance revenue is key, but also we have to set up a mechanism that will fund the maintenance of the ships. One of the things that we are looking at right now is a new master plan, and the board has approved the hiring of a firm to develop a master plan for Patriots Point,” says Trammell.
No word on what that master plan is yet, but Trammell says he believes Patriots Point will be saved. If Chellis deems the cause worthy, there is a chance he could grant the money to Patriots Point, with the approval of the remaining State Budget and Control Board members.