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December 23, 2011 at 11:42 AM

UPDATE: Kalakala declared hazard, mooring inadequate

The Kalakala lists in its mooring on the Hylebos Waterway, in Tacoma in this photo taken in March this year. Supporters have not been able to raise the millions needed to restore the ferry.(Photo by Janet Jensen / The News Tribune, Tacoma)

UPDATE: 3:35 pm. The ferry Kalakala has been declared a hazard to navigation, setting the stage for the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers to decide what’s next for the decaying old boat.

The hazard declaration means, among other things, that the ferry’s mooring arrangement is inadequate, according to the Coast Guard.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, options for dealing with the ferry include doing nothing, moving it if it poses a significant threat or emergency or anchoring it or “pinning” it so it doesn’t go anywhere. The last option would be only temporary.

The Coast Guard had set a Dec. 19 deadline for owner Steve Rodrigues to repair the hull of the Kalakala and submit a plan to tow it from its berth at Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma.  Rodrigues appealed the Coast Guard order, but the appeal was rejected this week.

It was due to the advance degradation of the ships hull and lack of reliable dewatering equipment, said Regina Caffrey, with the Coast Guard.

“We rejected his appeal. It wasn’t sufficient and there was no evidence of new information that anything had been done,” she said.

Rodrigues, who could not be reached, said last week that he’d sold the ferry to an anonymous out-of-state buyer who plans to restore it.  He didn’t tell the Coast Guard the name of the new buyer, nor did he provide any evidence of a transaction, the Coast Guard said.

The 276-foot silver ferry with sleek lines sailed on Puget Sound from 1935 to 1967. After its ferry days, it became a fish-processing ship in Alaska and later all but abandoned. It was towed back to Washington in 1998 with the idea it would be restored, but no one came up with the money to do so.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Coast Guard, hazard, Kalakala

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