The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

M/V Tustumena's return to service pushed back until August


The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) announced earlier this week that more wasted steel was discovered in the engine room of the M/V Tustumena and repairs will require additional time at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard.

The Tustumena went in for its scheduled annual overhaul on March 13 and was originally scheduled to return to service on May 27. In early May, damaged steel was discovered in the engine room and the Tustumena’s return to service was initially pushed back to July 18. With this recent discovery, AMHS anticipates United States Coast Guard approval for the Tustumena’s return to service departing Homer at 5 p.m., Monday, August 15.  

This delay impacts communities in Southwest Alaska and along the Aleutian chain. Usually, there are 10 trips scheduled along the Aleutian chain each year. Because of these delays, there will now be three remaining trips, with the first chain trip commencing on August 22.

The Tustumena is 53 years old. A replacement vessel has been designed, but is awaiting construction funding in the pending fiscal year 2018 capital budget. The AMHS staff is contacting affected passengers. For more information, call your local terminal or the AMHS central reservations office at 1-907-465-3941 or toll free at 1-800-642-0066. An updated schedule will be made available online at


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