State ferry system looking to hire, prevent further cancellations

SEATTLE -- The Washington State Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it planned to hire several ferry deckhands, after having to cancel dozens of sailings this year.

According to The Seattle Times, Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson said 45 deckhands would be hired. She said the decision for the increase came after 31 ferry sailings were canceled on Sept. 7 due to a staffing shortage. The shortage has caused a total of 82 sailing cancellations so far in 2013.

Peterson told The Times that 30 deckhands who worked over the summer would remain working, at least part-time, instead of being laid off for the season. Fifteen additional workers would be hired by the end of the year. Job openings have been posted on the WSDOT website.

According to The Times, Peterson did not yet have an estimate for how much the added deckhands would cost.