Falls of Clyde began to ride low in the stern and a small hole was discovered, which was quickly patched and ballast moved in the tanks to raise the stern. Within two weeks she began to list abnormally to port. Investigation discovered a hole on the port three tank. FFOC brought in a contractor to repair the hole and again ballast was readjusted to get the ship back in trim. Finally, as the month came to a close, the ship took on water in the bow through some rusted areas and Harbors and the Coast Guard declared an emergency and brought in contractors to pump out water and patch the leaking areas. FFOC brought in a contractor to remove ballast in order to bring the ship up higher to move the water line above the leaking areas. Tens of thousands of gallons of water were removed and the ship is now back in stable condition. However, Harbors Division now considers that a state of emergency is ongoing, which means they have an urgency to move the ship for what they consider the safety of the harbor.
While this was going on, FFOC was working with Senator Hirono’s Chief of Staff to see if Falls of Clyde could be moved temporarily to Pearl Harbor until the Scotland move occurred. The problems cited above basically made this option no longer feasible.
Friends of Falls of Clyde board members met with Harbors administrators on February 1 as a post assessment following the emergency. Also attending was the local representative of Save Falls of Clyde International, whose input on the status of the repatriation to Scotland is at a critical juncture. It was reported that a substantial grant is pending that Save Falls of Clyde International may receive. We were also told that Sevenstar Yacht Transport is still interested in moving the ship back to Scotland, but it will be a couple of months to get scheduled. The Harbors administrators laid out three terms that must be met in order to reconsider the auction: Save Falls of Clyde International must have a signed and paid for contract with a carrier, a firm date for the move must be set before hurricane season begins June 1, and a plan to safely maintain Falls of Clyde until the move must be provided. Friends of Falls of Clyde is committed to comply with the third requirement. While there is some optimism that all will come together, time is short.