By Larry Persily
Wrangell Sentinel 

Shortage of crew continues to plague state ferry system


February 15, 2023

An ongoing shortage of crew is the “No. 1 risk factor” for the Alaska Marine Highway System, Transportation Department Deputy Commissioner Katherine Keith told legislators.

At a Feb. 2 presentation to the Senate Transportation Committee, the ferry system reported it was still short just over 100 crew for full staffing to efficiently operate the winter schedule, about a 20% vacancy factor for onboard employees.

The ferry system, however, is able to run its schedule with crew members picking up extra shifts and overtime to cover the work, and with management denying leave requests, Keith...

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