Story last updated at 12/17/2008 - 3:45 pm
Juneau - Dangerous seas and strong winds forced the crew aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) fast vehicle ferry Chenega to return to Auke Bay the morning of Dec. 12 and cancel its scheduled sailing to Haines and Skagway.
While sailing off the coast of Sentinel Island north of Auke Bay, Chenega's captain reported seas exceeding 10 feet with winds swirling at more than 35 knots.
According to AMHS officials, there were no reports of injuries to passengers or damage to the ship.
Chenega departed the Auke Bay terminal about 8 a.m. Friday morning and returned shortly after 9 a.m.
Chuck VanKirk, AMHS' operations manager, said that all of the passengers and vehicles aboard the Chenega were transferred to the ferry Taku. Taku was slated to substitute for Chenega and complete the Haines and Skagway run Friday afternoon after departing Auke Bay at 12:30.
According to VanKirk, Chenega's Saturday sailing has been cancelled due to the existing and forecasted weather conditions.
"We'll continue to monitor weather forecasts and make the appropriate adaptations to best accommodate our travelers," VanKirk said.