Hawaii campaigners bid to save Clyde-built sailing ship

The 138-year-old sailing ship, built in Port Glasgow, could be scuttled if the campaign fails. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

The 138-year-old sailing ship, built in Port Glasgow, could be scuttled if the campaign fails. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

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A GROUP of volunteers in Hawaii have launched a last ditch bid to save the historic Falls of Clyde from being scuttled.

The group, a non-profit organisation named The Friends of Falls of Clyde, received ownership of the under threat sailing ship in 2008.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Launched in 1878, the Clyde-built vessel is the only surviving iron-hulled, four-masted sailing ship in the world, and has called Hawaii home for over fifty years.

Friends of Falls of Clyde say they will need to raise $1.5m in order to dry dock the ship and save it from a watery grave, but, so far, they have failed to reach even a tenth of their target.

The ship is currently in a perilous state and is no longer open to the public after being declared unsafe by Hawaiian officials. If the campaign to save her is unsuccessful, she faces being towed out to sea and scuttled.

The Falls of Clyde was previously restored in 1963 by the Hawaiian Government, but this time around, appetite for a new salvage operation appears to be lacking.

Figures such as the actor Brian Cox and Patricia Mirrlees, wife of Nobel Prize winner Sir James Mirrlees, have given their backing to the campaign, the latter having written to the Scottish Government to persuade the Hawaiian authorities to intervene.

READ MORE: Historic Falls of Clyde sailing ship set to be scuttled

Should the 138-year-old ship be saved there is talk of bringing her back to Glasgow as a museum piece - a move supported by Friends of Falls of Clyde.

The vessel first visited the Pacific archipelago in 1898, spending over a decade transporting sugar between the Hawaiian islands and San Francisco.

In later years she was used as an oil tanker, and is now the only sail-driven example left.

You can visit The Friends of Falls of Clyde campaign page here.

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