The WWII submarine USS Cod is receiving its final polishes this week in the Donjon Shipbuilding Company’s drydock as the 312-foot National Historic Landmark ship prepares to hit the open waters again.
For the past seven weeks, crews have worked on the sub — sandblasting, removing wasted metal, fitting new steel and applying new paint to her underwater hull. Now, she will be refloated for the return tow home to Cleveland.
However, there is still a question of when that return will occur. The boat scheduled to tug the Cod is not sure when it will be free of its current job in the Detroit area to go to Erie and pull the submarine back home.
Cod’s skipper, Paul Farace, is in daily contact with the shipyard staff and the captain of the tug, trying to finalize the details of the return.
“Everyone involved has done an amazing job in making Cod shipshape, but we’re ready to come home and get back to giving tours,” said Farace.
Sadly, the tug industry is not like calling a cab or an Uber ride, Farace explained. The tug and its crew have been busy for nearly two months since they towed the Cod to Erie. Unfortunately, their current job is running a late.
The Cod crew hopes to get their sub back to Cleveland this upcoming weekend if the tug can arrive in Erie on Friday or Saturday.
“Planning a welcome home party is really tough when you can’t be sure when exactly you’re coming home,” Farace said.
The tow is expected to take about 13 hours and will follow the same close off-shore route taken when she came to Erie back on June 13.
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