Coast Guard Extends LeConte Operating Deadline

Monday, March 27, 2006
The U.S. Coast Guard has extended the deadline for the M/V LeConte to resolve crewing issues until April 4, which will allow the ship to continue serving the outlying villages of the northern Panhandle during the popular Gold Medal basketball tournament. The Coast Guard had issued an “835 directive” to the LeConte to not allow any crewmember to work longer than 12 hours in a 24-hour period. The LeConte was previously given until March 31 to comply. The Coast Guard extension will allow the LeConte to operate without interrupting service to Southeast communities that rely on AMHS to attend the Gold Medal basketball tournament in Juneau. The tournament ends April 2. Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Mike Barton said the department is considering what options are feasible to continue serving Southeast communities after the “835” directive takes effect. “We are working internally and with our maritime unions to evaluate all possible options for providing continued service in a safe and efficient manner,” Barton said. “We hope to find a solution with our unions that ensures safe and cost effective operations and still provides the highest level of service to the ports the LeConte serves,”

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