SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Fast Ferry Fairweather Sailings Canceled, Repair Underway


August 22, 2011

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska – The Alaska Marine Highway System’s fast vehicle ferry Fairweather has canceled sailings Monday, August 22nd through Friday, September 2nd due to a pinhole discovered in one of the water jet vanes of the port-outboard water jet. The hole was discovered on the evening of August 18th while the Fairweather was at the dock in Juneau.

jpg Fairweather

M/V Fairweather in winter lay-up in Ketchikan in 2005.
File Photo by Carl Thompson ©2005

Fairweather sailings were initially canceled through last weekend as various repair options were examined. The cancellations have now been extended through September 2nd due to the need to dry dock the vessel in Ketchikan to complete the necessary repairs. A tentative return to service is expected on Saturday, September 3rd.

Repair plans for the Fairweather include removing the water jet and damaged component to inspect for additional or hidden damage, then welding the damaged area to return it to its original dimensions.

“We tried every option to come up with an acceptable temporary plan to keep the vessel in service until its regularly scheduled maintenance period on October 1st, but unfortunately the manufacturer will not approve those plans because of the potential for hidden damage and the possibility of further damaging the component with a temporary repair,” said Captain Michael Neussl, the Alaska DOT& PF Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations. Fairweather will transit to Ketchikan on three engines with the oil removed from the damaged water jet to prevent any leakage.

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 33 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska.



Source of News: 

Alaska Department of Transportation


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