The Albion ferry vessels were towed west up the Fraser River last week.

Albion ferries sold to marine transport company

Ferries became obsolete after the Golden Ears Bridge opened two years ago but have finally been purchased by a B.C. buyer

The Port Coquitlam company that purchased the Albion Ferries hopes to keep at least one of the vessels in use.

For now, the MV Kulleet and the MV Klatawa remain at Tidal Towing’s dock on the Fraser River across the Pitt River Bridge, near the Gillnetter Pub.

The marine transport company purchased the ferries for $400,000 last week from TransLink, but is still contemplating what exactly it wants to do with the boats.

“I am not in a real big rush, so I can hold onto them for a while,” said Tidal Towing owner Tim Mackenzie.

“I will keep one as a ferry and the other one, I’m not sure, but I might dismantle it and use it as a small work platform.”

The ferries were made obsolete by the Golden Ears Bridge and been languishing at the Albion dock in Maple Ridge since July 2009.

The ships were initially priced at $1.1 million each and were even advertised on CraigsList in 2009.

While TransLink received numerous tentative bids and inquiries from prospective buyers, none turned into a firm offer until Christmas.

Mackenzie was always interested in purchasing the ferries and even put in a bid early on but, withdrew it.

Two years later, he thought the ferries had been sold and was surprised to spot them docked in Albion while heading up river to Mission in early December.

He decided to call the broker and made an offer, which TransLink officially accepted on Friday.

“The sad part was nobody needed a couple of ferries and so they didn’t get the price they wanted,” said Mackenzie.

While waiting for a buyer, TransLink periodically fired up the engines to keep them in good working shape.

TransLink had considered selling the boats as scrap if they were threatening to become an environmental or economic liability, but that point had not yet been reached.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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