SEATTLE - The Washington State Ferries' M/V Kitsap is back in service after a mechanical issue was successfully repaired Wednesday night. According to a post on X, The United States Coast Guard gave approval for the ferry to return to its route.
The vessel was docked at Vashon Island after it experienced delays at the Southworth Terminal on Wednesday.
WSF officials explained the delays at Southworth were caused after the Kitsap Ferry "bumped the dock more than is normal due to a mechanical issue."
No injuries were reported.
For a few hours on Wednesday, the Cathlamet Ferry operated a one-boat service for the Fauntleroy, Vashon, and Southworth Terminals.
"It’s always inconvenient, but it’s become more inconvenient," said John Payne, an ecologist waiting for an afternoon ferry home to Vashon Island.
"It makes me just wonder what’s going on," said Alia Payne who lives on Vashon Island.
WSF moved the M/V Suquamish Ferry from its regular Seattle/Bainbridge Island Route to support services for the Fa/Va/SW triangle.
"I’m grateful for the system and I understand that it’s hard to maintain these boats. And one little thing will go wrong, and it throws the whole schedule into a tizzy," said the ecologist.
The Kitsap is yet another vessel down in a ferry system that is already challenged operating a fleet of older ferries that often forces a reduction in services.
"We don’t have enough boats to operate the system as is, so losing an additional boat will cause further disruption until it is fixed," said Ian Sterling, spokesperson for WSF.
"I think it would be amazing to see more funding for the system, keep it consistent, keep things up to date because there definitely is a sense right now that it’s a bit unpredictable. You can’t really set your travel plans with a definite knowledge that you’re going to make it there when you think you will," said Payne, who was visiting Seattle with her father for a film project.
"No definite time. The boat will arrive when it arrives," said Mr. Payne.
Customers said they are calling on state lawmakers to start approving policies and investments to address the ongoing issues within the ferry system.
"Of course, it’s subject to the negotiations that happen in Olympia, and they have just been cutting it more and more and more. Just fewer and fewer boats and that part is sort of frustrating," said Mr. Payne. "They do need to be regularly funded. It matters. The ferries matter a lot."