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Battleship won't leave home for repairs after all

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Battleship North Carolina will not hit the high seas again after all. After sitting in the mud along the Cape Fear River for decades, the Battleship's hull needs repairs.

The Battleship Commission considered sending it off to Charleston, SC, or Norfolk, VA, for the work. Ultimately it decided to keep the World War II ship in Wilmington to do the repairs.

"If you take it away, we'd have a park and a big hole in the ground," said Capt. Terry Bragg, the ship's executive director. "Those visitors wouldn't come to see such, so we think this is a good thing, but it's good for us too. We don't lose continuity in programs. We don't lose the routine, and we'd lose all that revenue."

Keeping the ship in Wilmington will save about $16 million. Crews will use new technology to do the work while the ship, which serves as North Carolina's WWII memorial, remains open to the public. Work is scheduled to start this fall and take about three years.

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