The LeConte ferry departed Bellingham, Wash. on Thursday night for Ketchikan, following emergency repairs to its propulsion shafts at the
Todd Shipyard in Seattle.
However, due to a motor problem, the LeConte likely will not sail fro
Juneau to Haines and Skagway on Sunday as originally announced Thursday. It appears the ferry will be able to start service Wednesday, Jan. 4, said John
Manly, the state transportation spokesman. A special stop is still planned
for Pelican on Jan. 6. The village has been without ferry service since Dec.2.
The Le Conte was taken out of service on Dec. 5. The repairs to the shaft couplings were expertly done, approved by the American Bureau of Shipping, and the vessel was certified for passenger service by the Coast Guard in Bellingham (Thursday), said Cap. John Falvey, the Alaska Marine Highway System's general manager.
A small motor problem, however, is now preventing the vessel from going into service on Sunday as planned, according to Manly.
The Seattle shipyard also made permanent repairs to damage done to the LeConte's hull on Nov. 30, when the ferry grazed the metal top of a piling in Petersburg. This resulted in a 10 to 12-inch gash in the forepeak of the vessel, about 13-15 feet above the waterline. A temporary repair was made in Juneau the next day.
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