M/V Taku has Mechanical Problem

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced that the MV Taku has not been able to leave Ketchikan, due to mechanical problems. The Taku was expected to sail from Ketchikan Monday night to fill in for the MV Columbia, also stuck in Ketchikan with a mechanical problem. Passengers who anticipated taking the Taku north or south from Juneau will not be able to do so at this time.

“We had expected to be able to bring the Taku on-line in fairly short order, but we are experiencing a steering and control problem with her that has held up bringing her back into service,” said Captain John Falvey, AMHS general manager. “In the meantime, however, we are making good progress on the Columbia’s starboard engine and hope to conduct sea trials with that vessel on Friday. Our goal is to sail north with the Columbia on Friday, get it caught up on moving the many delayed passengers on to their destinations, and turn it around in time for its regularly scheduled southbound run from Skagway on Monday.”

Falvey acknowledged that the mechanical problems of the two ferries have been a big inconvenience for many passengers, both northbound and southbound.

“We would like to extend our apologies to every one of our customers who has been affected by these delays,” he said. “The ferry propulsion, steering and control systems are fairly complicated, and while we did not anticipate having the combination of issues with these vessels we are now in the midst of, we are working 24-7 to resolve those problems. We want the traveling public to be confident that the Alaska Marine Highway vessels they will be riding on are safe, reliable, and ready for the work we require of them. We appreciate the patience shown by everyone affected.”

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