ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Crews have raised the first ferry of the Alaska Marine Highway System after the retired vessel sank in Guemes Channel at Anacortes in western Washington.
The Skagit Valley Herald reports that the Chilkat was lifted by a crane and placed on a barge on Wednesday.
The Chilkat sank on Jan. 12 after it broke free from its mooring at Lovric’s Sea-Craft and crashed into the Guemes Island Ferry Terminal.
The ship was launched in 1957 and decommissioned in 1988. It was then re-purposed for other jobs before recently being taken out of service.
Troy Wood, derelict vessel removal program manager for the state Department of Natural Resources, said the vessel had to be raised and removed because it was near the terminal and posed a hazard.
“They were afraid with the strong currents in the area, it might drift into the ferry lane, which would obviously cause major delays or safety issues,” Wood said.
Cost of the removal was estimated at $800,000, including the likely deconstruction of the ship.