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Marine Log

March 12, 2007

Hull plating crack in veteran WSF ferry

Washington State Ferries Director of Marine Operations Traci Brewer-Rogstad announced this afternoon that WSF service on the Keystone-Port Townsend run would be temporarily suspended while WSF examines and corrects a hull condition in the M/V Klickitat that serves the run.

The Klickitat is one of four vessels in the WSF fleet that was constructed in 1927. With its three sister ships, Illahee, Nisqually and Quinault, it is one of the oldest class of vessels in passenger ferry service in the United States.

The three vessels are designated the Steel Electric Class.

WSF described the condition as a crack in the hull plating of the vessel where water seepage was detected on Saturday.

WSF and Coast Guard inspectors from Seattle examined the vessel together and conducted a round-trip sailing to permit close observation of the vessel under controlled conditions.

Based on that inspection, it was determined that the vessel should be removed from service until it could be repaired in a local shipyard.

The Klickitat is expected to enter dry dock as soon as dock space is available. Dry dock space is in high demand at this time of year as vessels are preparing for the summer season. The length of its dry dock time stay cannot be determined until a full out-of-water investigation is conducted and course of corrective action established. ers.

“We know the suspension of the run will inconvenience travelers, truckers and commuters,” Ms. Brewer-Rogstad said. “Unfortunately, with other vessels in dry dock for annual inspection and repair, there is no available spare vessel at this time. We are working to review all options for service on this route as quickly as possible but we are currently out of service.

“We at WSF are committed to returning the Klickitat to service as fast as we can,” she continues Ms. Brewer-Rogstad. “We hope the service suspension will be short. However, until we know for sure what the schedule will be, we must be clear that safety is our first concern. Our duty is to work with the vessel crew, the shipyard and the Coast Guard to make sure that when the vessel returns to service, it does so with everyone’s complete confidence as to its seaworthiness.”

WSF recommends that Port Townsend/Keystone customers utilize the Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton routes during this service disruption. Port Townsend/Keystone multi-ride car and driver and passenger cards as well as the ferry-only monthly pass will be accepted as the fare on the Edmonds/Kingston route during this time.