Ferry Tacoma repaired, ready for sea tests

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington State Ferries says the ferry Tacoma is ready to begin sea tests after crews repaired its electrical system.

The Tacoma has been out of service for seven months while its damaged propulsion switchboard system was rebuilt. The ferry built in 1997 lost power last July 29 while traveling from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Ferry system spokeswoman Susan Harris-Huether says a design flaw prevented a protective circuit-breaker device from working properly. That resulted in significant damage to the electrical switchboard components — and ultimately led to the power failure.

Starting Thursday, the ferry system says people may see the Tacoma in Elliott Bay as crews conduct three weeks of sea trials.

When testing is complete, the ferry will have its annual Coast Guard safety inspection before returning to the Seattle/Bainbridge Island route in April.