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State removes derelict boats from Honolulu Harbor, but Falls of Clyde remains

Nina Wu
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The Kulamanu was towed from Pier 7 at Honolulu Harbor today.

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The Pacifica was towed from Pier 12 at Honolulu Harbor on June 7.

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The Manaloa was towed from Pier 12 at Honolulu Harbor on June 6.

State officials say they have removed three derelict vessels — but not yet the historical Falls of Clyde — from Honolulu Harbor.

The state Harbors Division today removed the Kulamanu, also known as the Windjammer, from Pier 7 at Honolulu Harbor, saying it posed a risk of sinking during a severe storm, with the hurricane season having started in June. The Kulamanu, a 282-foot-long passenger vessel, was towed to Kalaeloa Harbor, where it will be prepared for disposal at sea.

In addition, the fishing vessels Manaloa and Pacifica were towed from Pier 12 on June 6 and 7, respectively. Based on the contracts awarded, the vessels may be disposed, recycled or repurposed.

The state said the three were removed at a cost of $748,350 to prevent danger in the event of severe weather as well as to ensure the flow of cargo.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation, which includes the Harbors Division, is also working with the state attorney general’s office to recoup delinquent fees and removal costs from the vessel owners and their insurance companies.

“We have initiated steps to remove risks that could hamper the recovery of the harbors during the hurricane season,” said Harbors Division deputy director Derek Chow in a news release. “Mariners need to know the HDOT will also pursue owners to the full extent of the law to recover the expenses incurred by the state.”

Another boat, the Debra Ann, was sold to a new owner. The owner of the vessel Laysan paid the balance of the Debra Ann’s fees and removed the boat from Honolulu Harbor on his own, with plans to refurbish her.

The Falls of Clyde, which received no legitimate bids during an auction the state held in February, remains at Honolulu Harbor.

The Harbors Division said it continues working toward the removal of the Falls of Clyde. The historic ship has already been prepped for disposal, with its engine, fluids, contaminants and high masts previously removed.

The state said it is still open to potential buyers.

Bruce McEwan, president of the Friends of Falls of Clyde, a nonprofit advocating to preserve and restore the ship, still hopes it can be transported back to its birthplace of Scotland as proposed two years ago.

The Falls of Clyde, built by Russell & Co. in Port Glasgow, Scotland, in 1878, is the only surviving, iron-hulled, four-masted ship named after a Scottish waterfall. It departed from Scotland in 1879 for its maiden voyage to Karachi, Pakistan, and became part of Matson’s fleet before being converted into an oil tanker.

It is on the national register of historic places.

McEwan said he requested that the ship be moved to the berth occupied by the Kulamanu, which was next to the Falls of Clyde on the Diamond Head side of the Hawaii Maritime Center building.

The Harbors Division said the Friends, the registered owner of the ship, can still remove the vessel on its own, but that it has not received confirmation of any such plans, nor verification of funding, from Falls of Clyde supporters.

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