AN MP has stepped in to try to save a rare Clyde-built ship from destruction.

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, is bidding to help the Falls of Clyde, which is currently docked in Hawaii.

The deep water sailing ship is berthed in Honolulu Harbour after the trust Friends Of The Falls Of Clyde bought it for about $1 million in 2008. The ship, which was launched in 1878, has visited every continent across the globe except Antarctica, and was owned by a museum in Hawaii until it went bankrupt.

Now the Hawaiian government is threatening to sink the vessel, with Scots campaigners desperately trying to raise the cash needed to save it.

Ms Thewliss has written to the US Governor, David Ige, asking him to stop the authorities from destroying the ship until campaigners are able to raise the cash to bring it back home.

She said: “Given its rich history, it would be nothing short of historical and cultural vandalism to sink or destroy Falls of the Clyde.

“The ship is thought to be the last four-masted iron-hulled sailing vessel of its kind in the world.

“There is growing interest in repatriating the boat to Scotland from organisations such as Old Gorbals Heritage Group, the City of Glasgow College’s Riverside campus and many others in Scotland and around the world.

“The River Clyde is full of potential and it would be absolutely amazing to bring the ship home and perhaps run it as a sail training venture.”

David O’Neill, a campaigner from the group Save Falls Of Clyde International and the Old Gorbals Heritage Group welcomed the MP’s involvement.

He explained: “The group is keen to bring the ship back to the Clyde and restore it, making it a similar attraction to the Tall Ship.

He said: “We want this ship to be used by whole communities across Scotland.

“We are trying to make sure the government (in Hawaii) is aware there is a campaign to save the ship.

“We want to refurbish it. Any assistance that anyone can offer would be brilliant.”