Falls of Clyde set to return to Scotland
The Friends of the Falls of Clyde met with officials with state harbors this week. The plan is to get the historic ship returned to Glasgow Harbor in Scotland, where the historic ship was made.
HONOLULU - The Falls of Clyde turns 140 next year and the hope is she celebrate that birthday in Glasgow Harbour in Scotland, where the ship was built at.
The aging ship is an eyesore to some, but to others, she is worth saving.
Over the years, volunteers have worked on her interior trying to make repairs as funds were available.
Named after waterfalls in Scotland, she one of only two iron hulled ships left in the world.
The Falls of Clyde once carried oil and molasses to and from Hawaii as a Matson flagged ship in the 1900.
But according to the friends group, the scots want a go at restoring her as a tall four masted ship, sailing once more.
"The Scots love their maritime history. They are proud of the fact that this ship turns 139 this year, they built it its still afloat," Bruce McEwan said.
McEwan said the Old Gorbals Heritage Group in Glasgow is working with a Norwegian company to transport the vessel using a heavy lift ship which works as a floating dry dock.
McEwan is talking with barge company about logistics of taking the Falls of Clyde out of the harbor.
He says the hope is to move the Falls sometime in September. There may be a call for volunteers later this summer to help get her underway.
"We do have some other ship related pieces including the figure head which are currently in storage. It will all have to be put on the ship and secured so it can be moved," McEwan said.
The state calls this latest plan, a good first step and would like to support efforts to return the ship to its birthplace.
But it says its priority is to keep the harbor clear and safe. Their concern is that the location and condition of the Falls of Clyde poses a safety risk and that there are insufficient funds to improve the condition of the vessel.
If and when the Falls leaves Honolulu Harbor, her departure will be bittersweet for McEwan.
"Folks locally don't understand from an international maritime perspective how important she is to the worldwide maritime community," he said.