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Coast Guard Approves AMHS LeConte Plan
Dayboat operation for LeConte would comply with work-rest order


May 02, 2006

The U.S. Coast Guard approved an operating schedule for the M/V LeConte that would comply with its "835" directive concerning work-rest rules aboard the ship.

Under the changes proposed by the Alaska Marine Highway System, the LeConte would operate on a day boat schedule seven days per week beginning June 9. The ship would continue to be homeported in Juneau where it would make crew changes and take on fuel, water and stores in the evenings.

"By phasing in this change, we will be able better to accommodate customer demands and allow more time for the communities served by the LeConte to familiarize themselves with the new schedule," said Capt. John Falvey, AMHS General Manager. "AMHS has meet with communities leaders who have told us that operating the LeConte as a day boat combined with additional service by the M/V Taku provides an adequate level of service to most of the Northern Panhandle communities."

The LeConte was previously assigned the Northern Panhandle run from Juneau to Petersburg with stops in Angoon, Hoonah, Kake, Pelican, Sitka and Tenakee Springs.

Under the day boat schedule, the LeConte will make trips from Juneau to Hoonah three times a week with long layovers in Hoonah once a week to allow contract vessels serving Pelican and Gustavus to connect passengers with the return trip to Juneau. The contract vessels will stop in Pelican one week and Gustavus the next. The LeConte would also make two stops per week in Tenakee during its Hoonah trip.

The four remaining days would be divided between round trips from Juneau to Angoon and Juneau to Haines. In addition, the M/V Taku will add stops in Kake and Hoonah to its schedule.

The proposal approved by the Coast Guard has been forwarded to the three maritime unions. Operation of the LeConte as a day boat requires changes to the union contract that must be negotiated.

The "835" directive was issued March 13 and AMHS had been given until May 5 to submit a plan that provides for significant rest periods for LeConte crewmembers.

"We are happy that the Coast Guard agreed this plan will provide adequate rest to the crews and we look forward to working with them to ensure the AMHS can continue to provide this service in the safest possible manner," Falvey said.

The AMHS will begin taking reservations for the new June 9 day boat schedule on May 4. Customers who have reservations on the LeConte for the period after June 9 can make the necessary changes after May 4. AMHS reservations staff will also attempt to contact ticket holders affected by this change.


Source of News:

Alaska Marine Highway System

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