Wrangell Sentinel -

First Alaska state ferry sinks at Anacortes dock


January 21, 2021

Courtesy of the Alaska Marine Highway System

The Chilkat was built for the territory and went into service less than two years before statehood. The photo shows the ferry at sea in May 1957.

The first ship built for what would become Alaska's state ferry system sank Jan. 13 in a windstorm and dock collapse in Anacortes, Washington, where the decommissioned Chilkat had been moored to a concrete floating pier.

The ship sank about 85 miles north of Tacoma, where it was built in 1957 at a cost of about $300,000 to provide daily service between Juneau, Haines and Skagway.

When Alaska entered the union on Jan. 3, 1959, the Chilkat became the first Alaska state ferry, later joined by four larger vessels that were built after voters later that year approved a bond issue to pay for cons...

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