According to the Anchorage Daily News, the AMHS MV Lituya broke from her pier in Metlakatla, Alaska during last nights major storm. She drifted about one mile to Scrub Island with no one on board the ferry. USCG and AMHS officials are arriving at the scene to assess the damage and begin a salvage operation.
Post by M/V LeConte on Jan 30, 2009 10:43:28 GMT -8
Alaska State Ferry breaks free from mooring, aground
From a Coast Guard press release
The Alaska State Ferry Lituya, a 180-foot motor vessel home ported in Metlakatla, Alaska, broke loose from its moorings at the ferry pier in Metlakatla and is reported aground one mile north on Scrub Island, Alaska, in Port Chester at 1 a.m. Friday.
Coast Guard Cutter Anthony Petit, a 175-foot buoy tender home ported in Ketchikan, Alaska, is making preparations to get underway and is scheduled to arrive on scene at sunrise.
Coast Guard Air Station Sitka and Coast Guard Station Ketchikan will launch assets as soon as weather conditions permit.
No one was on board the Lituya at the time of the incident.
Current weather conditions in the vicinity are winds from the southeast at 26 mph with gusts up to 80 mph, visibility is 3 miles, overcast with heavy rain and seas of six to eight-feet.
The Alaska Marine Highway System, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Coast Guard Sector Juneau are working together to respond.
Post by M/V LeConte on Jan 30, 2009 10:46:38 GMT -8
From the AMHS Schedule Changes section of the website:
Jan. 31: IFA beginning Metlakatla service
The IFA will begin service to Melakatla on Saturday, January 31 while the Lituya is out of service. Please contact central reservations at 907-465-3941 or toll-free 1-800-642-0066 for more information. The revised schedule follows; times listed are Alaska Time, the schedule is daily Thursday through Monday:
Here's the full article from the Anchorage Daily News.
State ferry's hull intact after grounding
By JAMES HALPIN
The Alaska state ferry Lituya broke free from its moorings in Metlakatla overnight with no one aboard and ran aground a mile north on Scrub Island in Port Chester, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The 180-foot vessel dislodged at its home berth in the Southeast town at about 1 a.m. to begin its phantom voyage.
The vessel was spotted aground earlier today, and preliminary reports indicate the Lituya suffered damage to its keel coolers, which were leaking some antifreeze -- the quantity was not immediately clear -- and damage to the vessel's plates, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Roger Wetherell.
"The ship's hull has suffered some heavy insets," Wetherell said. "The internal hull's integrity has not been breached, which is good news for us."
Weather at the time the boat slipped off was reported to be severe, he said. Earlier this morning, the Coast Guard was reporting southeast winds at 26 mph with gusts to 80 mph. Visibility was 3 miles, with heavy rain and seas reaching 8 feet, the Coast Guard said.
The DOT bought the Lituya in 2003 for $9.7 million, he said. The vessel is one of the youngest in the Alaska Marine Highway's 11-ship fleet, he said.
Wetherell said it is common practice for ships to be tied up and left unattended overnight.
"They were done sailing," he said. "The crew is based in Metlakatla, so when they tie up in Metlakatla, they're done."
Crews from the Alaska Marine Highway System, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Coast Guard were working to salvage the ferry.
A Ketchikan-based Coast Guard cutter, the Anthony Petit, was en route to the scene.
I can't help but notice the timing of a rather unusual coincidence... while posting updates about the grounding of one AMHS vessel, M/V LeConte at the same time has changed his signature to the news photo of the MV Taku grounding... I hope there's not some hidden connection there. Maybe Lituya is trying to live up to the past exploits of her big sister .
Post by Starsteward on Jan 31, 2009 7:46:50 GMT -8
Wow, what a surprise to see the picture of the Queen of Prince Rupert coming to the aid of the MV Taku on July 29, 1970! The crew on the QPR was 'B'Watch under the command of Captain Gerald Ruddick. A most notable day as we sped to Prince Rupert to discharge our passengers and vehicles then make speed post haste to West Kinnehan Island to raise our bow visor, lower our bow ramp, maneuvered to the stern door of the Taku by Captain Ruddick, ( that Skipper had a surgeon's touch when it came to ship handling) where we built a wooden ramp between the ships and yes, drove the vehicles off the Taku and onto the Rupert. That 'transfer' would go down as the oddest vehicle loading the QPR ever experienced. The QPR crew delivered the Taku's cargo quickly to the dock at Prince Rupert, and loaded our southbound passengers for Kelsey Bay. As it turned out there were several Americans who travelled with us that day that had started their trip on the Taku. Whew! crazy exciting day it was but was sure glad I was part of it. Looks like the Lituya is in a bit more precarious position to be building ramps. Hope she can be successfully refloated.
Post by M/V LeConte on Feb 5, 2009 13:33:22 GMT -8
From Today's Juneau Empire (http://juneauempire.com/stories/020509/sta_385027103.shtml)
2,000 gallons of diesel unaccounted for after ferry Lituya's grounding
JUNEAU - An ongoing investigation into the grounding of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Lituya found approximately 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel unaccounted for following the vessel's Jan. 30 grounding on Scrub Island.
The 181-foot ferry broke loose of its moorings because of high winds. It ran aground near Metlakatla.
The only petroleum visible around the vessel after the grounding was a 5-by-75-foot sheen. AMHS representatives, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and other responders determined the amount of diesel that escaped was minimal.
However, during a subsequent review of logs and tank soundings, investigators discovered a the discrepancy of approximately 2,000 gallons of fuel. The Unified Command concluded that if the fuel had spilled into the waters of Port Chester, high winds and rough weather would have caused the spill to dissipate quickly, obscuring its magnitude and making recovery of the product impossible.
No fuel is currently leaking from the vessel, and none escaped during the tow to Ketchikan.
"While exactly what happened to the fuel is unknown, the fuel could have spilled through the starboard-side fuel tank vent when the vessel listed 10 to 15 degrees to starboard as the tide fell," said Cmdr. Scott Bornemann, deputy commander of Coast Guard sector Juneau.
A planned flight to search for diesel fuel in the area was delayed by inclement weather.
The Lituya is awaiting repairs at the Ketchikan Shipyard.
Marine highway officials said the ferry has damage to its port-side keel cooler. The cooler helps keep lower the temperature of a vessel's mechanical equipment by allowing sea water to pass over tubes that circulate coolant through the engine.
The vessel's port side No. 4 void also has a hole or hairline fracture. Inspections also are planned for the ferry's internal bulkheads and its steering and line shaft alignment.
Officials said repairs are not scheduled to start until this weekend, at the earliest.
From AMHS Jan 9-Mar 31: Lituya out of service for federal overhaul project
M/V Lituya will not be providing service to the community of Metlakatla between the dates of January 9th through March 31st, 2010. The vessel will be in a federal overhaul project. For reservation and schedule information during this time please contact the Inter Island Ferry Authority at 907-225-4838.
MV Lituya at Alaska Ship and Drydock, Ketchikan, AK