Friday, June 1, 2012

USS Iowa Arrives in Southern California

After initially having its departure date delayed about a week, the former battleship being moved from Northern California to Southern California for a new role as a floating museum has arrived at its destination.

The 887-foot ship USS Iowa was originally scheduled to depart the Port of Richmond May 20 for a four day trip south, but was delayed six days due to rough seas in the San Francisco Bay area. It arrived at a temporary berth several miles offshore from Seal Beach, California, during the early morning hours of May 30.

The vessel was delivered by the 7,200-HP tugboat Warrior, which is operated by Crowley Maritime Corp. On June 9, Crowley’s harbor tugs are scheduled to move the ship up the main channel to its new permanent home in Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles.

“It is an honor for our team and company to have the privilege of caring for the USS Iowa on her journey to her new home,” Crowley port captain Andrew Gauthier said.

The 45,000-ton USS Iowa is scheduled to open to the public on July 7 at Berth 87, directly south of the World Cruise Center. The museum’s operator, the non-profit Pacific Battleship Center says it will offer guided tours and educational programs, including overnight stays and youth camps. About 400,000 visitors are expected to visit the ship annually.

During its heyday, the USS Iowa took part in every major military conflict from World War II until the post-Cold War period. It was decommissioned in 1990 and donated to the Los Angeles-based Pacific Battleship Center in 2011.