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Matanuska Experiences Mechanical Difficulties, Engineers Working to Correct Problems

(JUNEAU, Alaska) -The 46-year-old Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry Matanuska experienced mechanical difficulties and is pier side in Sitka while technicians try to resolve the problems and return the ship to service.

Today's scheduled sailings from Sitka to Prince Rupert, British Columbia with a return to Sitka were cancelled by AMHS officials, as control system problems occurred.

Presently, 78 passengers are aboard the Matanuska. They will remain aboard until the arrival of the ferry Malaspina. Passengers will then be transferred to the Malaspina which will depart Sitka tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.

"We are in constant contact and working closely with the Coast Guard and the European system's manufacturer's North America representative to correct the deficiencies and put the ship back to sea safely and as soon as possible," said Capt. John Falvey, General Manager, AMHS.

The Malaspina's revised schedule includes a stop in Kake at 1 a.m., Wednesday.

The Matanuska plans to sail from Sitka to Juneau at 10:45 p.m., Wednesday.

Complete schedule revisions are available online at www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/schedule_changes.shtml .

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