Saturday, March 08, 2008


Superferry: needs more time for repairs, and audit report gets delayed

by Larry Geller

See breaking news in today's Advertiser. It appears that the Superferry will not resume operating until after April 22.

Well, this and other blogs offered reports on the possibility of extensive damage to the Superferry over a week ago, as did KGMB. Of course, a Superferry announcement formed the basis of today's Advertiser's story, I assume.

Just as followup, I did speak to the Coast Guard last week. In an email, their spokesman assured me that

The Coast Guard takes safety very seriously, and we require vessels such as Hawaii Superferry to meet a comprehensive set of Coast Guard safety regulations; moreover, the Coast Guard has the authority to require correction of any deficiencies before allowing a ship to take on passengers at U.S. ports.

So essentially, it will be the Coast Guard that gives the green light for the Superferry to operate a passenger service again.

While the cost of repairs may be covered by insurance, the downtime still amounts to a huge loss of operating revenue for the ferry. I wonder about the part-time employees, and if they are earning salary during this long outage.

On the sidelines, the task force monitoring the ferry's operation doesn't have anything to monitor, but the clock still ticks on their reports.

And finally, speaking of reports, in today's Advertiser is this story, Report on ferry history delayed. Here's a snippet, but I encourage you to read the entire story:

[State auditor Marion] Higa warned lawmakers in January that she would likely miss the March deadline because she had not been given all the documents she requested from the Lingle administration. Higa also questioned the administration's use of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege in relation to some of the documents.

Update: The statement on the additional delay from Hawaii Superferry is apparently this one:

HONOLULU - Hawaii Superferry announced today that it is extending the amount of time the Alakai will be in drydock because work to repair damage to the ship that occurred during the drydocking process is going to take longer than was previously projected.

Based on the latest repair schedule, reservations for sailings after April 22 are now being accepted. Updates on the sailing schedule will be issued as they become available.

Passengers holding reservations for affected voyages are being notified, re-accommodated on a future voyage or refunded.

Customers are encouraged to visit for the latest travel information or they may call Hawaii Superferry’s reservations at 1-877-HI-FERRY (1-877-443-3779) open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (HST).

The Advertiser story is a fair copy of the press release, notably omitting the part of the first paragraph that confirms damage that occurred during the drydocking process as reported to you by the blogosphere over a week ago. It's not like there's any shortage of space in Breaking News on the web... so I wonder why that portion of the press statement was not as faithfully transcribed as the rest?

Here's the first part of the Advertiser story. Compare:

Superferry extends drydock repair time

Advertiser Staff   

Hawaii Superferry announced today that it is extending the amount of time the Alakai will be in drydock because repair work is going to take longer than expected.

The press release by Superferry spokesperson Lori Abe appeared, with her name (not anyone's "staff") in its entirety on the Hawaii Reporter blog. Yes, including the part about the damage in drydock.



There doesn't seem to be much "rhyme or reason" to how things happen on this topic anyway whether it is statements by the co. or govt. officials or reporting by the mainstream media. I think it is jus' one big clusterf**k.

Aloha, Brad

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