Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry service down to 1 vessel

PORT TOWNSEND — Ferry service from Port Townsend to Coupeville has resumed with one vessel after the MV Salish struck bottom when docking in Coupeville on Tuesday morning.

Service had resumed with the MV Kennewick as of the 12:30 p.m. sailing, but no new reservations will be taken Tuesday, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Stand-by customers will not be loaded until further notice because of the reduced capacity, and all customers are urged to take alternate routes — such as Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton — if possible, Transportation said on its website Tuesday afternoon.

Reservation-holders for all Kennewick sailings Tuesday will be prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reservation-holders will not be charged a no-show fee Tuesday if they’re unable to travel because of the disruption.

According to PDN news partner KOMO News, the steering failed on the Salish on Tuesday morning, causing the vessel to hit bottom when docking in Coupeville.

The ferry reportedly experienced rudder steering failure when it “bumped the bottom” of the sandbar in Keystone Harbor about 9:15 am Tuesday while approaching the dock, according to Washington State Ferries.

Passengers were let off the Salish with no injuries, KOMO reported.

Crews were able to move the Salish back to Port Townsend to check for damage.

Ian Sterling with the WSF said the Keystone landing is one of the most challenging landings, and it isn’t the first time this has happened on this route.

“We have seen this before,” Sterling said to KOMO. “There’s basically a car width in between where the ferry docks and where the sandbar is so there’s very, very little room for anything to go wrong.”

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