The state ferry Columbia will be out of service for nearly the rest of the month as the Alaska Marine Highway repairs its largest vessel at the Ketchikan shipyard.
The 418-foot ferry was docked in Ketchikan Monday following problems with a part of its exhaust system. While in Ketchikan, workers discovered damage to one of the ferry’s propellers, caused by striking a log in the water.
The Columbia will be drydocked to fix the propeller damage. Ferry system officials report the ship is not expected back in service until August 31st. Instead, the 408-foot Malaspina is taking over the Bellingham, Washinigton to Southeast Alaska route until August 30th. That ship has been providing service in Lynn Canal. The 235-foot LeConte will be re-routed to fill in for the Malaspina in Lynn Canal.
Marine Highway staff are contacting impacted passengers and updating schedules on the ferry’s website. Passengers are encouraged to check with their local ferry terminal to find out more about schedule changes.