Columbus ship replica La Nina floating once again

The Columbus ship replica La Ni�a has sat partially sunk at the Corpus Christi Marina since the Monday after Hurricane Harvey made landfall earlier this year.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The Columbus ship replica La Niña has sat partially sunk at the Corpus Christi Marina since the Monday after Hurricane Harvey made landfall earlier this year.

On Monday, the Columbus Sailing Association and a group of volunteers were out trying again to get the ship afloat.

La Niña partially sank after taking on too much water during Harvey. The ship's electric marine pumps stopped working when the storm knocked out power.

On Monday, Steve Callahan and his son were in scuba gear and were among a number of volunteers trying to raise the Columbus ship replica.

"I am actually off for the weekend so this is like a mini-vacation for me," Callahan said. "We actually pay to dive on ships, and here we're actually doing it for free so we can dive on the ship for free."

Three huge gasoline powered pumps were brought in to try and remove the water from the ship, but success looked unlikely. Many said the water was being replaced as fast as the pumps could remove it.

Several previous attempts to raise the ship did not work, but Marina Superintendent Peter Davidson said the effort is working.

"She is coming up slowly. They just got to keep her balanced at this point," Davidson said.

Sometime after noon on Monday, La Niña was finally raised. The next step is to tow her across the bay to a shipyard in Aransas Pass. It is believed that it will cost around $100,000 to repair her -- money the Columbus Sailing Association doesn't have to spend on the ship.

"If she's going to remain here in Corpus Christi, we're going to have to have some nice talks and some nice donations and a guarantee of funding behind her, like the Elissa in Galveston," Association President Kim Mrazek said.

Tourists watching the operation said they are sure that people will want to donate to make the needed repairs to La Niña.

"I am real sure that everybody in this city will have faith, and that you will have the boat back on the ocean," said Paula Gimgras, a tourist from Quebec.

The shipyard is so busy making repairs to other hurricane-damaged ships that it cannot start working on La Niña until sometime around February.

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