LeConte sailings cancelled through the weekend

The LeConte docks at Juneau’s Auke Bay terminal in June. A broken bow thruster knocked it out of service this week. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

A broken bow thruster has put the ferry LeConte out of service through at least Monday.

Sailing cancellations could disrupt several hundred northern Southeast residents’ Thanksgiving plans.

The small, Juneau-based ferry runs to and from Gustavus, Hoonah, Tenakee Springs, Angoon, Haines and Skagway.

The bow thruster is needed to maneuver the front of the vessel during dockings. Similar breakdowns last summer cancelled several days of sailings. The ferry is scheduled to get a new bow thruster next winter.

Transportation Department spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the LeConte is headed to the Ketchikan Shipyard on Friday for examination and repairs.

He says around 90 people were scheduled to sail to either Hoonah or Gustavus today. Another 70 were set to sail to Tenakee or Angoon on Thursday, with about 80 returning on Saturday.

Other ferries will sail from Juneau to Haines and Skagway on Thanksgiving and Monday. No other ships stop at the rest of the small communities.

Woodrow says the marine highway tried to arrange for another vessel to fill in, but it didn’t work out. He says officials regret the breakdown and the impacts it will have on Thanksgiving and other travel plans.

The LeConte can carry up to 300 passengers and 35 vehicles.

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