Historic Falls of Clyde sailing ship set to be scuttled

The Falls of Clyde, which was launched at Port Glasgow in 1878, is a museum ship in Honolulu. Picture: Wikicommons
The Falls of Clyde, which was launched at Port Glasgow in 1878, is a museum ship in Honolulu. Picture: Wikicommons
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She is the last remaining ship of her class and a striking reminder of the golden age of sail.

But the Falls of Clyde, which was launched at Port Glasgow in 1878, looks set to be consigned to a watery grave somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

The ship has been declared unsafe by Hawaii's transport department. Picture: Wikicommons

The ship has been declared unsafe by Hawaii's transport department. Picture: Wikicommons

The 137-year-old iron-hulled four-masted vessel was this week declared unsafe by Hawaii transport officials, who ordered she be removed from her permanent mooring in Honolulu harbour.

It now looks likely the Falls will be towed into deep water and scuttled to become an attraction for divers - unless a last ditch campaign to save her is successful.

The campaign group Friends of the Falls of Clyde (FFOC) argues the former floating museum should be preserved for future generations of Hawaiians to enjoy.

Ownership of the vessel was transferred to the non-profit group in 2008, but it has failed to raise the millions of dollars required to fund a full restoration.

Its condition has deteriorated in recent years and it is no longer open to the public.

The ship was previously saved from scrap in 1963 by the state government in recognition of her historic links to the Pacific archipelago.

The Falls was designed by William Lithgow, the founder of the Port Glasgow-based shipbuilders which survives as a marine engineering firm to this day.

She first visited Honolulu in 1898 and was involved in the transportation of sugar from the islands to San Fransisco for more than a decade. She was later sold to General Peteroloum and used as a floating petrol depot off the coast of Alaska.

In 1963, she arrived back in Hawaii to a state welcome and was fully refurbished.

READ MORE: Seven of the most famous ships built on the River Clyde