W. Winget wrote:If they can pick up the USS Cole after receiving a hole in the side and transport it across the Atlantic, they could easily transport the USS Olympia on the same ship.
The real problem is the Olympia is in such poor material condition she most likely wouldn't survive the tow TO the ship! The vessel in question, the MV Blue Marlin, draws 96' of water when submerged for loading. Even accepting she'd only have to draw 88' to leave a 10' clear margin under the Olympia, the majority of the shipping channel up the Delaware River is still only 40' deep - and the dredging project underway currently will only deepen it to 45'. As such, the Blue Marlin would have to stand off in deep water while the Olympia is towed to her, a tow she likely wouldn't survive.
The best solution would be to tow her the 4 miles or so down-river to the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and have her drydocked for repairs, however since the yard is now in private hands, there is no telling how much the already cash-strapped Independence Seaport Museum - who still have charge of maintianing Olympia - would be charged for use of one.
For those who aren't aware, this all started with one John Carter, the former head of the Independence Seaport Museum, embezzling roughly $2.5 million from the museum, none of which has, as far as I am aware, been recovered. The net result has been a multi-front disaster. The ship herself is in desperate need of immediate attention, however ISM does not have the funds to make the needed repairs, and given the magnatude of the Carter scandal coupled with the economic downturn of the last several years, donations are far lower than in the past so the prospect for raising the funds in the near future are unlikely.
In consultation with the US Navy, the ISM requested Transfer Applications (TAPP Phase I) from other non-profits who were interested in assuming custody of the Olympia. Of the 6 received, ones from Philadelphia, Washington DC, Charleston (SC) and Mare Island (CA) were accepted as viable and, currently, the Friends of the Cruiser Olympia, a Pennsylvania based group, is raising the $8 million to move to TAPP Phase II.
The only bright spot in all this gloom is actually part of the problem - that Olympia is silted into her berth to the point that, of the roughly $40 million the Philadelphia Inquirer stated would be required to completely repair Olympia and return her to her spot on the Philly waterfront, roughly $10 to $15 million is needed simply to dredge her out of her berth into the shipping channel! In short, she's effectively aground, so at least she can't sink.