Ferry runs aground at Keystone; passengers stranded five hours

KEYSTONE — The ferry Quinault returned to service Thursday evening after running aground earlier in the day, stranding 107 passengers and 59 vehicles aboard for nearly five hours.

Low tides and dangerous cross-currents were likely factors in the incident, which halted ferry service on the Port Townsend-Keystone route until early afternoon.

The ferry ran aground a few hundred feet west of the Keystone dock about 8:30 a.m., Coast Guard officials said.

It remained stuck until high tide and a helpful nudge from a tugboat refloated the Quinault shortly after 1 p.m.

The passengers and vehicles were unloaded in Keystone at approximately 2 p.m., officials said.

There was no damage to the Quinault, and Washington State Ferries returned the 75-year-old ferry to service at 6:45 p.m.

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