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27 December 2008 -26 January 2009.

posted Feb 1, 2010, 11:35 PM by Ling Ong

I’m afraid that the new year has not started out in the best manner for Falls of Clyde. Since the last log, the ship was prepared to be towed to Marisco’s drydock on 15 January. Because of the weather front that came in and the likelihood of high wave action, the tow was postponed for safety reasons. That postponement resulted in losing drydock slot and also the use of the towing tug, which had other obligations out of Hawaii.  

The weather, however, was only part of the problem. While preparing for the tow, the surveyor discovered that material covering some old pipes that had been part of the steam boiler system contained what he thought was asbestos. We had the material tested and confirmed that it is indeed asbestos (chrysotile). In addition, when the tanks were sounded for ballast water volume, we discovered that sandblast grit had been left in the tanks when work was done a few years ago. The grit is under water, so was not identified earlier. In addition, we have found that a temporary toilet was put into use while the ship was being derigged and the waste was dumped directly into a tank, most likely polluting the ballast water, which is periodically circulated between tanks. Contaminated water cannot be pumped into State waters, so we are having the water tested to determine its content. The long and the short of it is that the shipyard will not take the ship until it is free of any potential environmental hazards. She will remain in berth at Pier 7 until this all gets sorted out.  

Bishop Museum was put on notice of our findings early last week, but we have heard nothing in reply. Our hope, of course, is that the museum will step forward and clean up the ship so that we can proceed with our preservation work. The log will be kept up more frequently as this issue plays itself out. A news release was issued by Friends today and we are being open about the findings, although only the asbestos has been confirmed as an environmental hazard to be cleaned up.  

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