(Anchorage, Alaska) – Welders in the Ketchikan Shipyard worked extended hours to replace and repair damaged steel on the M/V Matanuska, a critical component in the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). The ship serves Bellingham, Juneau, Haines and Skagway, among other communities.
Unfortunately, due to the extent of additional repairs and vendor delays, the ship’s expected returned to service is now Monday, Jan. 31.
The delay will cause a Jan. 24 cancellation to the M/V Matanuska sailing to Bellingham. Passengers may rebook on a later sailing or seek alternative arrangements to reach their destination. AMHS reservation staff will be reaching out to affected passengers to provide assistance.
Sailings from Haines and Skagway are also affected. AMHS is seeking alternatives for these sailings, including crewing the Tazlina to provide service to Northern Lynn Canal and other communities. The department will share more information on these alternative sailings as soon as possible.
The M/V Matanuska is among the oldest vessels in the marine highway system at 58 years old. Steel damage is not uncommon on older ships, and must be repaired, per U.S. Coast Guard requirements, for the safety of the safety of the passengers and crew. Additional repairs of control systems, the waste heat boiler system, and a generator repair are needed, and vendor delays are impacting the ship's schedule.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 9 ferries serving 35 communities along 3,500 marine miles, over 5,600 miles of highway and 839 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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