U.S. Brig Niagara’s departure to Cleveland for repairs delayed

Local News

The U.S. Brig Niagara was supposed to set sail for a Cleveland shipyard Wednesday morning, but that plan has changed course.

Many factors played a role into the decision to change the departure date to early next week.

Reporter Fontaine Glenn spoke with Captain and Executive Director of the Flagship Niagara League Billy Sabatini about the repairs and reasons for the delay.

“Really the weather was a part of it. Because the weather is so nice we didn’t have to have a big press of ‘we have to get in the lake right now because we only have a short weather window.’ We also just wanted to make sure everything was ready to go,” said Captain Sabatini.

Captain Sabatini also said he wants to make sure the crew stays safe before departing Erie.

“We definitely want to give the crew a little bit more time. We’re also taking some precautions in terms of COVID, the entire crew is fully vaccinated,” said Sabatini. “But we’re also going to be getting everybody tested, much of the crew is actually isolating from each other, and will get tested over the course of the next few days, and then make sure that everything’s ready.”

The captain says he hopes this gives his crew some much needed time off before heading to Cleveland next week.

“It’s giving the crew a chance to have a little bit of downtime because they’ve been working really hard to get the ship ready,” said Captain Sabatini.

When the Niagara returns to Erie after its repairs, Sabatini says she will be ready for tours in May and to lead the way at Tall Ships Erie.

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