Tuesday, January 23, 2018

As AMHS hands over Taku, they seek your stories of the long serving Ferry

The MV Taku has been sold to a Dubai based salvage company
(photo from AMHS website)

A bit of North Coast Marine History is about to sail off into a sunset, with the Alaska Marine Highway System having formally handed over the keys to the MV Taku, the long serving vessel which once made Prince Rupert a regular port of call.

Built in 1963 the Taku was in service for over 50 years, serving a number of communities up and down the Alaskan coast on a number of AMHS routes.

Determined to be in excess of the states needs, it was taken out of service in the summer of 2015.

The AMHS handed over the ferry last week, with the Jabal Al Lawz Trading Group paying 171,000 dollars for the vessel, it is currently tied up alongside dock in Ketchikan with its departure from the state expected to take place within a month.

Taku Sale complete
State ferry Taku sold to Dubai based company

It was the second attempt to sell the ferry, after the first buyer who had plans to turn it into a floating hotel in the Portland, Oregon area backed out of the original deal.

The closing of the deal with the Dubai purchasers was one of mixed emotions for AMHS officials with Captain John Falvey the General Manager of the Marine Highway noting it's long service to the fleet and the attachment that Alaskans had to the vessel.

“The sale is bittersweet for Alaska. The Taku is a beloved ship and it’s hard to see her go. At the same time, we’re glad to have the sale process completed and have earned a good value for the state,”

As they prepare to bid farewell to the vessel, the Marine Highway Service is inviting former passengers and employees to send them stories or photos of them working on or travelling aboard the Taku.

"The Taku carried tens of thousands of travelers over the decade and entire generations grew up with the ferry. If people have stories or photos of working or traveling on the Taku, we'd love to hear and see them. We invite people to send memories of the Taku to AMHS" -- Captain John Falvey, General Manager Alaska Marine Highway Service.

Should you have some memories to share you can forward them to the AMHS by email to dot.ask@alaska.gov

As is a Federal requirement, a percentage of the receipts from the sale are to used for Federally eligible purposes or projects in the State of Alaska.

For more items on ferry transportation on the North  Coast and Southeast Alaska see our archive page here.

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