Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ocean Beauty Dock Slammed by Alaska Ferry

Ocean Beauty Seafood’s dock at Petersburg sustained major damage on May 7 from a head-on collision from a state ferry, but a regional manager for Ocean Beauty said they plan to process as usual when the seine season begins in mid-June.

Mike Forbush, southeast regional manager for Ocean Beauty, noted in an interview from Ocean Beauty’s Seattle office on May 8 that the salmon seining season begins in mid-June.

Forbush spoke just a day before he was headed to Petersburg, in Southeast Alaska, to see for himself how extensive the damage is.

The 408-foot ferry Matanuska, arriving just before high tide, when there was a strong current, crashed head-on into Ocean Beauty’s dock.

The incident is under investigation by the US Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Transportation. No injuries were reported among several dozen passengers aboard the ferry, nor employees working in Ocean Beauty’s machine shop just outside the damaged area. The ferry, in fact, sustained so little damage that it was cleared to continue on its route to Vancouver, British Columbia.

The dock did not fare as well. Forbush said damages were preliminarily estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It’s not going to be a cheap fix,” said Forbush, who confirmed extensive damage to the cement dock, dock pilings and a crane. Most of what was damaged was in the fish buying and production area, and some equipment in the sorting area will have to be replaced in some manner, he said.

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