Crew shortage cancels several Port Townsend ferry trips

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Three round-trip runs for the Port Townsend-Coupleville ferry were canceled Sunday morning because of a shortage of crew members.

The MV Kennewick, which was scheduled to depart at 6:30 a.m. from Port Townsend, remained at the dock while crew members were found to man the trip across Admiralty Inlet.

“Beginning Saturday afternoon crew members began calling in sick,” said Marta Coursey, spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries.

A snowstorm that left Seattle-area cities slick with snow and ice hit at about the same time as calls began coming in, so some of the absences may be weather related, Coursey said.

Ferry managers began calling for qualified replacement ferry operators Saturday, but a full crew was not in place until late Saturday morning, she said.

Regular service between the North Olympic Peninsula and Whidbey Island resumed beginning with the 11 a.m. departure from Port Townsend.

Passengers with reservations on earlier trips received priority loading on the 11 a.m. ferry, according to a notice on the State Ferry website.

By 2 p.m. there was no backup of vehicles waiting for the ferry at either terminal.

The cancelled runs included the 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., and 9:30 a.m. departures from Port Townsend, and the 7:15 a.m., 8:45 a.m., and 10:15 a.m. departures from Coupeville.

The Kennewick, a Kwa-di Tabil-class ferry built in 2011, can carry up to 64 cars and 750 passengers.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 09. 2014 3:30PM
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