Fast Ferry Out of Service October 15-November 23
September 29, 2004
Southeast Alaska's fast vehicle ferry Fairweather will make one more sailing to Sitka, on October 8, before going out of service for maintenance and night crew training. The ferry will provide service on its regular schedule to Haines and Skagway through October 14.
Sitka sailings have been cancelled because high and low slack tides in Sergius Narrows occur at times that would require the Fairweather to return to Juneau after dark. The Fairweather crew has not been certified by the US Coast Guard to operate after dark, because there were not enough nighttime hours to do so during the crew's training period last May.
Sailings that are cancelled include: September 29, October 1, 4, 6, 11, and 13. On October 8, the Fairweather will depart Juneau at 7 a.m., arriving in Sitka at 12 p.m. It will then depart Sitka at 12:30 p.m., arriving back in Juneau at 5:30 p.m. The Fairweather must time its passage through Sergius Narrows for either the ebb tide or flood tide, because it does not have full maneuverability with only one engine operating on its starboard side.
While the Fairweather is out of service for overhaul, the Alaska Marine Highway System will be replacing one of its four engines, which has been shut down since late August due to a manufacturer's defect. After the overhaul, the Fairweather's crew will be certified for nighttime operations, which will require six round-trips on each of the routes it serves, that is, to Sitka, Haines and Skagway.
Travelers between Juneau and
Sitka can sail on board the Aurora, currently filling
in for the LeConte. The Aurora will call on Sitka
ten times during October. Its schedule can be found on the AMHS
website at http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/schedres/scheds/index.html
All travelers are advised to check with their local terminal
operator for actual sailing times.
Source of News Release: