State ferry Taku sold to Dubai based company

Published: Jan. 19, 2018 at 12:33 PM AKST
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The Alaska Department of Transportation has signed papers transferring ownership of the state ferry, Taku, to a company based in Dubai. The Alaska Marine Highway System is now asking for members of the public to share memories of the ferry, which operated for more than 50 years.

Aurah Landau, a spokesperson with Alaska DOT, says the deal was signed in Ketchikan, at 10 a.m. Friday. According to the Alaska DOT, the final sale price for the ferry was $171,000, and it is expected to leave Alaska within a month. The company that bought the ferry, Jabal Al Lawz Trading Est., buys ships from around the world to refurbish them for use in other countries or sell them for scrap.

"The sale is bittersweet for Alaska," said Captain John Falvey, general manager of the Alaska Marine Highway System. "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."

The Taku is said to be "in excess of state needs" with available funding, and was taken out of service on June 23, 2015. The ferry is currently at a mooring facility in Ward Cove in Ketchikan. The Alaska DOT says the transfer of ownership means the new owner will be responsible for the docking fees, beginning Feb. 19, 2018.

Now that the vessel is sold, the AMHS is asking for stories of the Taku from members of the public. The AMHS is asking that people submit memories of the ferry via email:

. Landau says the stories may be highlighted on social media, or they may be collected and turned into a larger project, if there is a large enough response from members of the public.