Mechanical issues interrupt southeast Alaska ferry schedule

January 31, 2020 GMT

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Mechanical issues will keep the Alaska state ferry Matanuska out of service until Feb. 7, according to the Alaska Marine Highway System.

The Matanuska is the only mainline state ferry presently operating in southeast Alaska, the Ketchikan Daily News reported. Its next scheduled sailing is an 11 a.m. Feb. 7 northbound departure from Ketchikan to Wrangell.

The Matanuska outage affects ferry service between southeast Alaska and Bellingham, Washington. The most recent northbound sailing from Washington departed Bellingham on Jan. 23. The next scheduled southbound sailing from Ketchikan to Bellingham is at 3 p.m. Feb. 10, according to the marine highway schedule on Wednesday.

Mechanical issues on the Matanuska popped up last week in Bellingham. The 408-foot (124-meter) ferry was delayed 23 hours because of a leak in one of the main engine’s reduction-gear cooling units.

After departing Bellingham on Jan. 23, the Matanuska sailed north. On Sunday, ferry officials announced that the ferry was going to stay in Juneau for necessary engine repairs rather tha continuing to Haines and Skagway.