CLEVELAND — For the first time in 58 years, the USS Cod submarine will depart Cleveland as it's towed across Lake Erie for scheduled maintenance.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, Tug Manitou will arrive at the USS Cod, hooking up to the 312-foot long submarine and transporting it on an 18-hour tow to Erie, Pennsylvania for a drydock maintenance period.
You can watch the USS Cod depart from Cleveland in the player below:
During its service, the USS Cod sank more than twelve enemy ships and was awarded seven battle stars before it officially arrived in Cleveland in July 1959.
USS Cod last departed out of Cleveland for drydocking in Lorain in 1963.
As soon as the USS Cod is in the open channel during her departure on Sunday, the submarine will follow Navy traditions, including a signal from the recently restored horn to announce departure and firing a deck gun salute to the city of Cleveland.
"When we take in the lines securing Cod to the pier, the flag will be taken down at our stern and flown from the submarine's battle gaff, or flag pole, located on the mast," said Cod's president Paul Farace. "All Navy ships do this when they get underway... hopefully we will not be held in place by nearly 60 years of silt accumulation at our pier."
Normally, the USS Cod holds summer tours, but that will be put on hold for the next six to eight weeks as the maintenance is conducted.
"We hate to leave our fans and supporters for even a day, much less six weeks in our busy season, but the 78-year-old sub needs some new steel at her water line and a new high-tech hull coating system furnished in partnership by another Cleveland institution, Sherwin-Williams Paint Company," Farace said.
The hull preservation and restoration work will take place in Erie, Pennsylvania at the Donjon Shipbuilding Company and is estimated to cost around $1 million. A signification portion of the funds is being provided by the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures Program, however, most of the funds will come from the USS Cod's endowment which has been saved over the decades from tour fees and donations from citizens, veterans and corporations.
As the USS Cod departs from her home in Cleveland, a welcome home party is already being planned for her return in August.
"We hope all of Cleveland will turn out to welcome home their favorite veteran once again," Farce said. "Nothing is too good for our Cod."
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.