Docking mishap in Ketchikan damages state ferries Kennicott and Hubbard

The 280-foot Hubbard is an Alaska Class Ferry tied up in Ketchikan on January 29, 2021. It was built for $60 million by Vigor Alaska and completed last year. It and its sister ship recently received new side doors at a cost of about $4.4 million. It has not been put into service. (Photo by Eric Stone/KRBD)

One Alaska state ferry collided with another while docking in Ketchikan early on Jan. 14, causing some damage but no reported injuries. The collision happened around 4:25 a.m. Friday morning.

That’s according to a statement from the Department of Transportation, which reported that the 382-foot Kennicott ferry hit the smaller Hubbard. The Kennicott has just finished up service in Southeast and is heading in for a scheduled overhaul.

The 280-foot Hubbard is an Alaska Class ferry that’s in Ketchikan for a $15 million upgrade. The work by Vigor Alaska would add crew quarters to extend the ship’s operational range and versatility before it enters service later this year.

The Kennicott fared worse than the Hubbard in the collision, with damage to its starboard side and to one window. Damage to the Hubbard was described as “minimal.”

“AMHS does not anticipate the damage from today’s incident will impact project timelines or return to service dates for either vessel,” the agency said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the DOT had announced that Vigor Alaska had signed a contract for upgrading the Hubbard. The agency also said it had awarded a $9.4 million contract to JAG at the Seward shipyard on Dec. 28 for improvements to the ferry Tustumena, the second oldest vessel in the fleet.

“This work will contribute toward extending the ship’s service life until the Tustumena Replacement Vessel (TRV) can be put into service in approximately five to six years,” the agency said.

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska

Jacob Resneck is CoastAlaska's regional news director based in Juneau. CoastAlaska is our partner in Southeast Alaska. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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