"The Witch is Dead . . . " Superferry Death Knell?
From sources/eyewitnesses close to the HSF dry dock:
When HSF was being positioned to enter the floating dry dock facility it went aground on a sandbar. A tug was used to move it off the sandbar, during the move the tug pushed a 20' x 20' dent into the side of the HSF. HSF encountered a few more bumps in trying to position itself. When they finally got the vessel in the floating dry dock, they went about putting blocking into place. The goal is the set the vessel perfectly on these blocks. The key to the blocks is the must be set directly under each frame of the vessel. Failure to do so results in pressure on unsupported plate and massive damage. This procedure is critical for any dry dock and the utmost care is taken. Hsf entered the floating dry dock, blocks were in place and lines were fastened from above to keep the vessel in place. The dry dock was raised (water level lowered). However, attendants failed to slacken the lines. Pressure mounted, the lines snapped, causing one side of the facility to break off and fall onto HSF, causing major damage. It gets worse. When the lines snapped the vessel shifted and the blocking missed the frames, causing damage the entire length of both hulls. The hull is now structurally damaged, dented and serpentine. The USCG has ordered massive work to be done.
As of this writing negotiations are under way with USCG to formulate a plan of repair. The damage is so extensive, no one is sure when or if it will ever get out of dry dock.
One long-time worker at an adjacent boat yard stated: "I don't think that vessel will ever be put back into service".