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All Hands on Deck for USS Iowa Mooring Line Replacement

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DES MOINES  —  The USS Iowa is floating in Los Angeles Bay as a museum, but if something isn’t done, the battleship is in danger of floating away.

“It’s a very big, very heavy battleship. She weighs 57,000 tons, you need very strong lines to keep 57,000 tons tied up to a dockside,” said Simon Conway, one of the trustees who oversees the museum.

The problem is, the mooring lines used to hold the ship in place are less than ideal.

“It’s secured to the dock in the Port of LA by 13 lines, which we borrowed. They were secondhand when we got them, and three have already snapped,” said Conway.

The other 10 are not in great shape, either. Every day, they get weaker with the tension of the ship, weather conditions, and rot. The cost for a new set of lines is $60,000, and the nonprofit that runs the museum is asking for Iowans’ help.

“It may not sound like the sexiest project in the world, but it’s very critical to being able to keep the USS Iowa open as a museum, open to the public,” said Jeff Lamberti, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Lamberti says while the board could find a way to come up with the money themselves if need be, it would take away their ability to add new exhibits, events, and other additions to the museum. So far over $43,000 have been raised on their GoFundMe site.

“It’s very important to our existence, and we’re just making a plea to Iowans that know the importance to help us save this ship,” said Lamberti.

However, it’s not just the museum that needs to stay afloat; the ship needs stay in tip top shape for the Navy itself.

“Part of the deal with the Navy, the Navy still owns the Battleship Iowa, and part of the deal is that everything we do to her has to be able to be undone in 72 hours in a ship yard in case the United States Navy decides to press her back into service” said Conway.

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