Historic ship ordered to leave Honolulu Harbor

Historic ship ordered to leave Honolulu Harbor
Published: Aug. 12, 2016 at 2:12 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 12, 2016 at 12:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 138-year-old sailing ship that's been a landmark in Honolulu Harbor for more than 50 years has been ordered to leave by the state.

The "Falls of Clyde" was supposed to be scuttled in 2008, but escaped that fate. However, the state Harbors Division said it was time for it to go.

The state sent a notice to Friends of Falls of Clyde, and posted copies on the entrance to the historic but deteriorating sailing vessel. It cited safety and security reasons for terminating the permit allowing the ship to moor at Pier 7, and said she was no longer authorized to be in the harbor.

The notice gave until Saturday for the ship to be removed or be impounded by the state, which could sell it to a new owner, which could sink it at sea to become part of an artificial reef.

"Their agenda is to get us out of the harbor. Our agenda is if she needs to move out of the harbor, that she needs first to go to dry dock," said Bruce McEwan, president of Friends of Falls of Clyde. "She needs to be in a nice, more stable condition."

Falls of Clyde has been deteriorating since it was saved from scuttling. The spars that held the sails and rigging on lie on a rusty deck. The group has put in relatively new pumps to keep the ship level on the water.

McEwan said the group will need at least one more year to raise enough money to get the ship into dry dock. But the state Department of Transportation said "a plan that requests additional time to seek more funding is not acceptable."

Friends of Falls of Clyde is still fighting the order, and is trying to get more support from donors and public officials.

"We've already been Harbors (Division) on notice that if they're going to stick with the impoundment that we have property aboard the ship that isn't going to go down with the ship or isn't going to go with a new owner," said McEwan.

Even with the threat from the state, Friends of Falls of Clyde insist the ship is not going down without a fight.

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