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AK - Engineering marvel: Two Alaska fast ferries head to Spain on 'the mother of all ships'

The fast ferries MV Fairweather and MV Chenega were towed in Ketchikan today to be loaded onto a massive submergible freighter, where they will be transported to Spain for ferry service between Spain and Ibiza.

The fast ferries MV Fairweather and MV Chenega were towed in Ketchikan today to be loaded onto a massive submergible freighter, where they will be transported to Spain for ferry service between Spain and Ibiza.

It is quite the spectacle in Ketchikan and a scene that is seldom seen around the maritime world, but is happening now at the mouth of Ward Cove. (Photo credit: Michael Mastin)

The Fairweather is a catamaran that entered service in 2004, and was sold in March to Servicios y Concesiones Maritimas Ibicencas, along with the Chenega, which entered service in 2005 The vessels sold for a total of $5.17 million this year.

Amak Towing hauled the ferries to the Red Zed 1 heavy lift ship on Friday, using tugboats Ethan B and Jenny B. The Red Zed 1 has been in Ketchikan since April 2, while cribbing and blocking materials were brought in and other preparations have been made.

The transport of the ferries was delayed because of concerns they would sustain structural damage en route to Spain, and alternate methods were subsequently devised to secure the ferries to the Red Zed 1.

The Red Zed 1 will be lowered by pumping water into ballast tanks, and then when the ferries are loaded, the water will be pumped out, similar to how it works in this YouTube video:

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