A keel is the spine of a ship; It’s the basic foundation around which a new ship is built, so a
keel’s completion is significant in that new ship’s life. On Saturday, Ketchikan celebrated the laying of the keels for Alaska’s two new ferries, which will be built at Ketchikan’s Vigor Alaska shipyard.
Gov. Bill Walker attended the event, as did his wife, Donna. They joined local officials, Vigor representatives and a big crowd of Ketchikan residents.
KRBD’s Leila Kheiry attended the event, and prepared the audio postcard below.
The speakers featured are Doug Ward, director of shipyard development; the Rev. Scott Settimo of Holy Name Parish, who blessed the keels; Robert Venables, chair of the Alaska Marine Transportation Advisory Board; Ted Leonard, executive director of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority; Adam Beck, president of Vigor Alaska; Gov. Bill Walker and first lady, Donna Walker.
The initials of Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Mallott were welded onto metal plates in the shape of the State of Alaska. Those plates will be permanently welded onto to the keels.