That incident is sure going to mess up the summer ferry schedule and not just for the MV Matanuska. The AMHS doesn't have spare ships to put in service and the Matanuska was one of the "big" ferry boats, at 408 ft. in length.
While there isn't much width to the water at Petersburg, to hit a cannery dock head on, has to be a major mess up on someone's performance on the ship. The news article indicates the ship hit the concrete dock belonging to Ocean Beauty Cannery, causing damage to the dock and to a crane setting on the dock, plus the damage to the bow of the ferry. Good thing the cannery was not operational as of yet so no employees were on the dock. No word in the article as to any injuries on the ferry to persons or equipment being carried, such as RVs.
Sure more information will be out soon on the accident. Last summer we took the Matanuska from Prince Rupert to Skagway. The ship's main route was to run round trips from Prince Rupert BC to Juneau AK and turn around for the southbound leg. To fill the void of not having the Matanuska in service for some unspecified amount of time, will mean some other ferry will have to be pulled off it's run to handle part of the Matanuska's route so this will effect the entire ferry operation for part of the summer, it would appear.
I can't imagine the US Coast Guard will allow the ferry to remain in service without a complete dry dock inspection considering the damage it did to the cannery dock. Not sure where the closest dry dock would be that can lift a ship of that size? Prince Rupert? Seattle?
Here she was loading last summer in Prince Rupert.
And tied up at the Prince Rupert Dock
* This post was
edited 05/08/12 05:17am by joe b. *
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Does anyone know how these ferries maneuver when approaching this terminal. It was south bound (or in this location southwest), coming in on the flood (predicted to be about 5 knots). The dock they hit was about a half mile NE of the ferry terminal. They may have to make a 180 deg turn in order to dock along side the terminal with the bow pointing upstream (NE in this current) (using the side door).
While the Matanuska can load through the stern or the cargo door in the forward starboard side, it can only unload at places like Petersburg through the starboard side cargo door. So southbound, Petersburg would be on the port side (left) of the ship which would require a 180° maneuver to get the starboard(right) side up to the dock to unload. Possible she lost steerage during the maneuver and with that weight it would take a long way to get her stopped by going into reverse with the props. Or she could have lost engine power during the turn, 408 ft. of ship, even going with the tide at 5 knots, would be a massive amount of kinetic energy hitting the dock.
Here is a sister ship, of approx. the same size, the MV Malaspina, photo taken in Skagway in 2004 when we were getting ready to board. The stern and bow hatches are only used in Bellingham and Prince Rupert, as far as I know. Every where else you enter and exit through the starboard side of the ship, so the crew always has to position that side up to the dock.
* This post was
edited 05/08/12 02:17pm by joe b. *
Many things could have caused the collision. If doing a 180 with a running tide, the bow thrusters may have failed, reversing may have failed, etc. They do not stop on a dime. When turning to get the rudder to respond you have to have power. Tide may have been to strong to let the helm to respond quick enough if they were in a close quarter turn. I do not know if they have direction prop propulsion in the stern other then rudders. The investigation will bring out the problem. Many times it comes down to a control error.
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Video of the crash. Actually it shows the boat slowly passing the fishing docks (SW toward the terminal). Then the photographer realizes they hit the dock, and runs forward to show the point of impact, and the boat slowly pulling back. It wasn't a T bone, but rather a diagonal impact.
It probably was at speed where they didn't have a lot of steerage (rudder control), and a eddy pushed the bow unexpectedly toward shore. The dock served as big crushable barrier. I wonder if they were drifting in on the flood.
* This post was
edited 06/03/12 04:07pm by paulj *