Maybe the SS Catalina will be saved after all…ENSENADA – Hard to believe but it was announced that after a series of negotiations between port authorities and the company “Catalina Ensenada”, current owner of the ship SS Catalina, an agreement was finally reached in what would become an important tourist attraction in the area.
The agreement designates the docking area along the breakwater “L”, located across from the Hotel Riviera alongside the Cementos Guadalajara unloading area
According to Harbormaster Vinaza Marco Antonio Martinez, the ship will be moved from its current location at the dock next to the access channel to its new home dock in the port.
The SS Catalina, also known as The Great White Steamer, was a 301-foot steamship built in 1924 that provided passenger service on the 26-mile passage between Los Angeles and Santa Catalina Island from 1924 to 1975.
According to the Steamship Historical Society of America, Catalina has carried more passengers than any other vessel anywhere. From August 25, 1942 until April 22, 1946 the ship served as the Army troop ferry U.S. Army FS-99 at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation transporting more than 800,000 troops and other military personnel between embarkation camps and the departure piers.
After a period of service as a floating discothèque, the ship ran aground on a sandbar in Ensenada Harbor in 1997 and remained there half-submerged and decaying for more than a decade.
A number of attempts were made to save the ship including an effort to taker her back to Los Angeles but they failed to gain much support and were eventually dropped. In January 2009 it was announced that the ship would be cut up for scrap and it seemed that the ship would be lost but a final, last ditch effort was made by a new company that was formed to preserve the ship and it appears they just may be able to pull it off.
It certainly will take a lot of work…