SEATTLE (AP) – Nearly one-third of the state ferry fleet is currently out of service, forcing cutbacks and changes to some routes as officials scramble to cover all the bases.
Washington State Ferries spokesman Ian Sterling said seven of the fleet’s 23 vessels have been pulled from service.
KOMO reports that gour of those seven could be operating, he said, but are being held in port while awaiting U.S. Coast Guard inspections. The Yakima, the Tokitae and the Kitsap are awaiting their annual Coast Guard safety certifications and the fourth, the Issaquah, is awaiting final Coast Guard approval after extensive steering system work.
To cope with the lack of vessels, the ferry system has cut back to a two-boat schedule on the Southworth-Vashon-Fauntleroy route, instead of the usual three vessels.
In addition, the Edmonds-Kingston and the Seattle-Bremerton runs are using smaller vessels than usual, which reduces the number of vehicles that can make the crossing at one time.