'The Ship That Would Not Die' set to return home
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Officials at Patriots Point are anxiously awaiting a homecoming next week, almost three years in the making.
"This is one of the big milestones we have to check off our list, getting the Laffey back," Executive Director of Patriots Point, Mac Burdette said Friday.
He says getting the WWII destroyer ship back from Shipyard Creek will be no easy task.
"You're dealing with a lot of moving parts with 75 year old ships. So I think, rightfully so, we're a little nervous," Burdette said. "But we've got a good plan, great contractors, but until it's done I'm going to be a little nervous."
The move will require Patriots Point to be closed starting Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Burdette says at the latest, Patriots Point should be back open by Saturday, January 28.
Being closed for that week is expected to set the maritime museum back $18,000, but Burdette says it will be worth it.
That's because it costs Patriots Point $134,000 a year, having the ship where it is at now.
Burdette says they chose January for the move, because it is generally one of their slower times of year. Also a recent increase in revenue is expected to off set the cost.
"We have done really well financially, we are very fortunate. So we have already covered that loss with revenues from the last six months."
During the move, the Laffey will be put in the place where the U.S.S Clamagore submarine is now, and the Clamagore will be moved to the marina area.
Once the Laffey is back, do not expect to get a full tour any time soon. The ship is not expected to be opened up fully for about 3 months, as crews work to repaint parts of the ship and redecorate.
The Laffey is one of the only two remaining sumner-class destroyer ships left in existence.
Burdette says it is unique because it was one of the few ships that fought in both the European and Pacific fronts of the war. Due to the bravery of its crew and the ships endurance it was nicknamed, "The Ship That Would Not Die."
Stay with ABC News 4 for continuing coverage of the Laffey's homecoming to Patriots Point.