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Battleship IOWA Launches “Escape The Mothball Fleet” Experience



“Escape the Mothball Fleet” Allows Visitors to Experience the Challenge of Rescuing the Historic Battleship from Suisun Bay


SAN PEDRO, Calif., Sept. 30, 2022 – When Battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) was donated to the Pacific Battleship Center in 2011 by the U.S. Navy, the primary challenge was rescuing the historic battleship from its anchorage alongside other mothballed ships in Suisun Bay, Calif. Battleship USS Iowa Museum, one of the top five museums and attractions in Los Angeles, today announced the launch of “Escape the Mothball Fleet,” a unique, hands-on experience aboard the ship that recreates the Suisun Bay experience.

“Suisun Bay is used as a storage area for inactive ships that are likely destined for the scrap yard, and successfully towing the ship through the bay and underneath the bridge, presented an incredible challenge,” explained Jonathan Williams, President and CEO of Battleship USS Iowa Museum. “The equipment needed to tow the battleship was stored over her 13 decks, the Navy towing checklist was pages long, and there were no documents to provide any guidance. For six weeks, our team crawled through darkened compartments, finding what they could, closing hatches, adding water ballast to the bow to raise the stern, and a hundred other tasks necessary to prepare the ship for tow.”
Escape the Mothball Fleet” is a two-hour hybrid escape room/scavenger hunt in which participants can experience the challenge of rescuing Battleship IOWA from Suisun Bay. Participants solve problems, follow unusual map markers, and descend into the bowels of the ship, into areas that are off limits to the general public and not even seen on private tours. They climb ladders and search passageways as they hunt for steering locks, bilge alarms, liquid loading diagrams, and more, on a mission to save the ship from being stuck in the mothball fleet, dooming this engineering marvel to the scrapyard to be lost forever.
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