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WSF ferry sustained damage to propeller, both rudders and hull when it hit the shoreline last week

According to Washington State Ferries, the Chelan most likely hit the northern shoreline of Shaw Island Sunday, August 20, 2023. The boat was sailing into the eastern entrance of narrow Wasp Passage on its way to Friday Harbor when the incident occurred. There were four passengers aboard the San Juan Islands’ interisland vessel. No one was hurt.

Currently docked at our Anacortes terminal, Chelan is scheduled to be towed to a shipyard next week to go into dry dock for repairs. (file photo)

Upon initial inspection, a tear was found in the hull above the waterline. It has been temporarily patched. During an underwater assessment, divers discovered damage to a propeller, both rudders and the hull, which requires dry docking for repairs.

An internal investigation by WSF has begun, working with the Coast Guard in determining what led to the incident. Drug and alcohol tests of the crew have come back clear.

The total cost to repair the damage and an estimate on how long the vessel will be out of service are unknown until WSF can evaluate the extent of repairs when the boat goes in dry dock.

According to WSF, as always, safety is the number one priority and they will continue to work closely with federal partners to determine exactly what happened and how to prevent this from occurring again.

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