Fairweather sailings canceled, ship heads to drydock

The Alaska Marine Highway System’s fast vehicle ferry Fairweather has canceled sailings through Sept. 2, due to a pinhole discovered in one of the water jet vanes of the port-outboard water jet, according to Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesperson Brenda Hewitt. The state hopes to have the vessel back in service on Sept. 3.

The hole was discovered on the evening of Aug. 18 while the Fairweather was at the dock in Juneau. Fairweather sailings were initially canceled through last weekend as various repair options were examined. The cancellations have now been extended through Sept. 2 because the vessel must go to a dry dock in Ketchikan.

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 Oct. 1, 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 DOT&PF Deputy Commissioner for Marine Operations Capt. Michael Neussl.

The Fairweather will transit to Ketchikan on three engines with the oil removed from the damaged water jet to prevent any leakage.

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