September 26, 2010
Water taxi hits Seattle pier
U.S Coast Guard and Seattle-area rescue agencies responded to a water taxi allision in Seattle at Pier 50 Sunday.
The King County water taxi Rachel Marie allided with the pier at approximately 11:30 a.m. with 78 passengers and crew onboard.
Two 41-foot utility boat crews from Coast Guard Station Seattle, along with the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Police Harbor Patrol crews responded to the scene and are transporting the passengers and crew off the vessel.
The Seattle Times reports that seven passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening and that Initial reports that a man had fallen overboard turned out to be inaccurate. The newspaper quoted Coast Guard Lt. Jon Lane as saying the water taxi was wedged under the pier.
The newspaper quotes a passenger as saying that before the crash, the captain announced over the public-address system, "Hold on to something, sit down if you can."
Rachelle Marie, which operates on the King County Water Taxi's West Seattle/Downtown Seattle route, was out of service Sept. 17-22 for warranty repairs.
Rachelle Marie and sister vessel Melissa Ann are 77-foot catamarans, each with a capacity for 150 passengers and a crew of three.The vessels were built for the U.S. Army in 1988 at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island, Wash., to ferry workers to and from the ballistic missile tracking station on the Kwajalein atoll in the Pacific.