HOUSTON — The foundation that oversees the 105-year-old Battleship Texas released new video Friday showing how the ship will be towed out of the Houston Ship Channel for repairs.
The organization also dismissed online speculation that the ship could sink while it is being moved.
"I can assure you that extensive research and planning have been completed to ensure this will not happen," stated Battleship Texas Foundation director Bruce Bramlett.
The video rendering (watch above) shows the ship will be moved with the assistance of multiple large floats and tugboats.
Valkor Energy Services, "a highly respected and renowned firm specialized in offshore, logistics and engineering" has been hired to oversee every aspect of the journey, according to the foundation.
The Texas Legislature recently approved $35 million in funding to transport and fully repair the historic ship.
The foundation confirms the ship will return to Texas after the repairs are made, but the final destination has not been selected.
“There has been a lot of speculation that Battleship Texas will be permanently located in Galveston,” Bramlett said. He added, “The permanent location has not yet been finalized but I will say that the 7.2 million people who visit Galveston each year certainly makes this an attractive option, if we can secure the right location within the city. More tourists visiting the ship would mean more ticket sales and more revenue to pay for the battleship’s future maintenance costs.”
The Texas Legislature this year also approved handing off responsibility for the ship to its foundation as part of a 99-year lease.
"Bramlett noted the importance of this to ensure that the state no longer has to fund the battleship and that the foundation can provide the needed oversight, operations and marketing and also determine the final destination for Battleship Texas to optimize tourism and the needed revenues to sustain it," stated a press release.
For now, the dreadnought remains museum docked at the San Jacinto Battleground Historic Site in La Porte. It has been there since 1948.
A departure date for repairs has not been announced.
Taxpayers have been spending about $2 million a year to keep the ship afloat with small fixes and water pumps.
While the Texas House has agreed to fix the battleship, it will take up the issue of where to put it at a later date.
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