Second Hawaii Superferry will be deployed to Haiti - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Second Hawaii Superferry will be deployed to Haiti

WASHINGTON (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Huakai, a new twin-hulled auto ferry that had been destined to operate as part of the failed Hawaii Superferry will be used to support relief efforts in Haiti, according to US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

The US Transportation Department's Maritime Administration obtained the vessel after Hawaii Superferry filed for bankruptcy in May. The ship was never delivered to Hawaii.

The Huakai can carry up to 866 passengers and 282 vehicles. Unlike the Alakai, the first Hawaii Superferry ship, the Huakai has a unique bi-fold stern ramp that may make the ship more useful in Haiti relief efforts. Many of the Caribbean nation's port facilities were destroyed in the January 12 earthquake.

The Huakai is part of a flotilla of five ships being deployed by the Transportation department to Haiti. The rest of the group includes two crane ships, an offshore petroleum pumping vessel and the SS Cape May, a heavy-lift barge carrier.

"These ships and skilled crews are ideally suited to assist in Haiti by providing unique capabilities. One cargo ship can carry as much as 400 fully loaded cargo planes" said Acting Maritime Administrator David T. Matsuda.

The Huakai on the left and Alakai on the right docked at Norfolk, Virginia.

Photo source: John Flores

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