Harry Jaeger, head of the Zuni Maritime Foundation, said he wants to restore the ship, which carried out a daring 1991 rescue that was later depicted in the 2000 film "The Perfect Storm," and turn it into a museum dedicated to the 69-year-old vessel's history, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.
The ship, which was known as the Zuni under the U.S. Navy and was later dubbed the Tamaroa by the Coast Guard, is the only one of the 800 ships in the Iwo Jima invasion to survive to the present day.
The boat experienced a major leak in May that flooded its engines and partially collapsed a forward bulkhead while docked in a marine yard near Norfolk, Va., Jaeger said.
The foundation is trying to raise $500,000 toward the ship's restoration, but Tim Mullane, owner of American Marine Group, which is currently harboring the vessel, said fixing the boat might cost twice the goal amount.
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