Staffing stalls ferry sailings

On Sunday, Sept. 23, the Washington State Ferries cancelled four sailings on the Coupeville-Port Townsend route.

The reason: The crew did not show up for their watch as they were unaware that the hours had changed. Sunday was the first day of the new fall sailing schedule.

“This summer we’ve had more cancelled sailings than usual, and we regret the inconvenience this has caused our customers,” said Joy Goldenberg, WSF communications manager.

The 10:15 a.m. sailing from Port Townsend, the 11 a.m. sailing from Coupeville, the 11:45 a.m. sailing from Port Townsend, and the 12:30 p.m. sailing from Coupeville all failed to transport the waiting passengers and vehicles because of the staffing issue.

This situation occurred on a day when the ferry system had expected high ridership on this route because of the Oyster Run, a motorcycle ride in Anacortes.

However, Goldenberg said that it is impossible to differentiate the impact on travel due to the cancellations from the impacts from the heavy event traffic.

By about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, all reservations were full from Port Townsend and reservations were full until 9:15 p.m. from Coupeville.

According to Goldenberg every incident is investigated by the Port Captain’s office.

We are working with our employees and our bargaining units to avoid this from happening in the future,” she said.


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