Southern California breaking news and trends

Put a tow in the water: Battleship USS Iowa leaves for LA Saturday

USS Iowa Move

Ben Margot/AP

After weather-related (or perhaps, rematch-related) issues postponed the push-off from San Francisco Bay last week, the retired Battleship USS Iowa is finally set to complete its journey to the Port of Los Angeles.

Headed south to meet its new destiny as an interactive naval museum, the USS Iowa is scheduled to depart the Port of Richmond at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, and begin a four-day tow down the coast, provided the weather cooperates.

A decades-long member of the "mothball fleet," the powerful ship is expected to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge between 2-3 p.m. on Saturday as it makes its way out of the Bay area.

Those with an obstructed view or limited shore access, from, say, living anywhere else in the world that isn't the California coast, can still track the ship's movements, however.

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You stalled my Battleship! Weather delays U.S.S. Iowa's trip to Los Angeles

USS Iowa Move

Ben Margot/AP

The journey of 345 nautical miles begins with one tow.

For the retired Battleship U.S.S. Iowa, however, that tugboat-towed journey has been delayed since last weekend because of rough seas off the coast of California.

A decade-long member of the "mothball fleet," the famous battleship is preparing to make its way from San Francisco Bay to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, where the Pacific Battleship Center will continue vessel restoration, and turn it into an interactive naval museum permanently based at Berth 87.

Meanwhile, keeping the boat at bay is a costly situation, says the non profit center's president, Robert Kent. 

Kent told KPCC's Ashley Bailey, "It’s about $10,000 dollars a day, so we’re really anxious to get underway as soon as we can." At almost three football fields long, it'll take about four days of tugging for the Iowa to make the voyage south.

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'Mothball fleet' battleship becoming naval museum in SoCal

USS Iowa Move

Ben Margot/AP

The battleship USS Iowa is pushed stern first by tugboats on Suisun Bay Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, in Benicia, Calif. After resting in the Suisun Bay Reserve "mothball fleet" for a decade, the famous battleship is taking the first leg of its journey to southern California, where the Pacific Battleship Center intends to transform the vessel into an interactive museum permanently based at Berth 87 in Los Angeles. The Iowa will be towed to Richmond, Calif., on Friday for significant refurbishment until at least the end of the year and possibly through the first part of 2012 before the move south.

The U.S.S. Iowa was last actively engaged in conflict in the late 1980s, helping escort reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz during the Iran-Iraq war.

Some 25 years later, following years of being mothballed, the 887-foot long ship that once carried President Franklin Roosevelt to a World War II summit is coming to life once again as it is being prepared for what is likely its final voyage.

At the Port of Richmond, the 58,000-ton battlewagon is undergoing a $4 million restoration before being towed May 20 through the Golden Gate, then several hundred miles south to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. There it is to be transformed into an interactive naval museum.

 

 

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