Service to the San Juan Islands resumes after weekend ferry accident

Aug 21, 2023, 7:16 AM | Updated: Aug 23, 2023, 9:23 am

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Washington State Ferries are coping with great change. (Washington State Ferries)

(Washington State Ferries)

After a day-long stoppage caused by a ferry running aground Sunday night, service around the San Juan Islands has resumed.

For 24 hours, the was no way to get off San Juan Island unless you had a boat.

According to Washington State Ferries (WSF), the first boat left Friday Harbor at about 2:15 p.m.

The domino effect started when the Chelan hit the shoreline in Wasp Passage Sunday night and was being towed to Anacortes Tuesday for repairs. There’s no word on how long those repairs will take. The vessel sustained damage above the waterline.

According to spokesperson Ian Sterling, it is not clear yet what caused the ferry to crash. An investigation by WSF and the U.S. Coast Guard is ongoing.

More on ferries in Washington: Cancellations, delays causing frustration among island residents

WSF has previously said the fleet of ferries is aging and is in desperate need of repairs.

The ferry Walla Walla ran ashore on Bainbridge Island in April after it lost power due to a fuel contamination issue.

The vessel ran aground in Rich Passage on April 15. The ferry, which was carrying almost 600 people, including 15 crew members, was heading to Seattle from Bremerton when it ran aground. The ferry was stranded for about nine hours before passengers were off-loaded by barge. Initial indications were that the vessel suffered a generator failure, but an official investigation will determine the cause.

The ferry Cathlamet crashed into a cluster of pilings known as a dolphin near Fauntleroy in Seattle in July 2022. WSF concluded that a captain’s “loss of situational awareness,” and not any mechanical failures, caused the vessel to veer off course and crash near the Fauntleroy dock.

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Service to the San Juan Islands resumes after weekend ferry accident