Local Information

Port Townsend/Coupeville schedule on course for busy weekend despite additional Salish repairs

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 17:18

Ian Sterling, WSF communications, 206-714-1556

Crab pot line entanglements in propulsion shaft require longer fix

PORT TOWNSEND – The Salish is going to be on the shelf a while longer.

Dive inspectors uncovered more damage than expected to the boat, one of two vessels that typically run on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route. As a result, a series of ferry moves are planned to beef up the route ahead of a busy Saturday and Sunday.

Route changes

Historically, Washington State Ferries has seen about an 11-percent spike in traffic on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route during August’s second weekend due to peak tourism season and numerous events happening in the area.

There are only a few ferries in the state fleet that can navigate Keystone Harbor in Coupeville. Therefore, Washington State Ferries will move the Chetzemoka from the Point Defiance/Tahlequah to supplement the route. The Sealth will move from the north end of Vashon Island down to Point Defiance/Tahlequah.

The adjustments will return the Port Townsend/Coupeville route to its normal schedule and place the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route on a two-boat weekend schedule (pdf 113 kb) Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13. Customers with existing reservations for Port Townsend/Coupeville this weekend will be able to make their scheduled sailings.

After this weekend, Port Townsend/Coupeville will return to a one-boat schedule, while Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth will go back to its normal schedule through early September. However, staff will continue to assess the situation and review service options to restore full service to Port Townsend/Coupeville as soon as possible.

“We know shuffling schedules during the summer is a challenge for residents, businesses and tourists, and we want to thank them for their patience,” said Amy Scarton, WSF assistant secretary. “We’ll continue to assess service options beyond Sunday, and we’re exploring all avenues to get the Salish up and running again as soon as possible.”

Unexpected repairs

The Salish underwent an inspection following a soft grounding earlier this week. Unrelated to the grounding, however, WSF discovered that the propulsion system had been seriously damaged by crab pot lines getting tangled in the shaft.

The damages require crews to keep the vessel out of service through at least the end of August they make repairs. WSF asks that people not drop their crab pots in front of ferry docks or in areas where the boats travel.

A division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, WSF is the largest ferry system in the U.S., safely and efficiently carrying 24 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world. For breaking news and the latest information, follow WSF on Twitter.

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