One of Alaska's largest state ferries plowed into a seafood processing plant's dock on Monday, causing significant damage, officials said. The 408-foot Matanuska hit the dock belonging to Ocean Beauty, said Jeremy Woodrow, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Transportation.
The Petersburg Pilot reported the face of the Ocean Beauty cement dock was heavily damaged, dock pilings were broken and a crane was damaged. Even the second floor of the idled processing plant was damaged, with walls and outer walkways partially demolished. The Matanuska shows possible dents and scrapes to its bow.
"It wasn't a glancing blow. It pretty much was a head-on hit," Glorianne Wollen, the harbormaster in Petersburg, told The Pilot.
"It's one of those things. I don't know how or why the Matanuska T-boned the dock," plant manager Cheryl Romeo told The Associated Press from Ocean Beauty's headquarters in Seattle.
The Matanuska missed Ocean Beauty's ammonia plant, but she said the company is trying to get a skiff in the water to deal with a hydraulic leak on a crane, which was left hanging over the dock after the collision.
There were no immediate reports of injuries, both Woodrow and Romeo said.
Romeo planned to be in Petersburg on Tuesday. Mike Forbush, the southeast regional manager for Ocean Beauty, also will soon be on-site with insurance adjustors.
Forbush said "it's definitely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars" to repair the dock.
"It's not going to hinder us from operating this summer," he said.
Romeo said the plant is idled with few employees before the processing season. The plant employed 240 people last year.
The accident happened as the Matanuska was maneuvering through the Wrangell Narrows as the crew was trying to dock in Petersburg, the Pilot reported.
The Coast Guard was on the scene and must give the ferry clearance before it's allowed to sail again. If that clearance isn't given, the ferry will have to undergo repairs before resuming its schedule.
An internal investigation of the accident will be opened immediately, Woodrow said.
The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m., 90 minutes before high tide, as the ferry was making its scheduled run from Juneau to Petersburg, 125 miles to the southeast.