UNITED STATES NEWS

Ferry runs aground near Seattle; no injuries reported

Apr 15, 2023, 6:35 PM | Updated: 11:30 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — A passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people ran aground near Bainbridge Island west of Seattle on Saturday but there were no reports of injuries or contamination, authorities said.

The Walla Walla ran aground in Rich Passage around 4:30 p.m. as it was traveling from the city of Bremerton to Seattle, according to Washington State Ferries, a division of the state Department of Transportation.

“Initial indications are the vessel suffered a generator failure,” but investigators were still looking into what happened, the agency said.

Passenger Haley Socha told The Seattle Times that the ferry’s lights went out about 20 minutes into the voyage and the engines stopped. The lights came back on after a minute and there was an alarm and an announcement saying the vessel had no propulsion and warning people to brace for impact.

People helped one another as they donned life vests, Socha said.

“Everybody’s been really nice and good to each other,” Socha told the Times.

There were 596 passengers and 15 crew members aboard, according to ferries spokesperson Diane Rhodes. A tug boat and the Coast Guard were on the scene.

“Vessel engineers believe tide will be at the right height to safely tow the boat at midnight. We apologize to passengers. Their safety is our first priority,” Washington State Ferries said via Twitter.

Passengers were initially kept onboard. One passenger suffered a medical emergency unrelated to the grounding and necessitated an evacuation, the agency said.

Around 8 p.m., Kitsap Transit began taking others off the boat, ferry officials said. The transit agency deployed two passenger-only vessels, the Commander and the Waterman, with respective capacities of 250 and 150 passengers, requiring multiple trips to the Walla Walla. Around 8:30, Kitsap Transit reported the Commander had delivered the first load of people to the slip at Bremerton.

“We’re working on a plan for the vehicles onboard so passengers can retrieve them tomorrow,” Washington State Ferries said.

A photo taken by a Coast Guard officer showed the Walla Walla near the shore as people looked at it from the beach and snapped pictures. A tug was positioned at one end of the ferry with an apparent Coast Guard boat nearby.

“No pollution or hull damage detected at this time,” the state Department of Ecology reported. “Ecology responders on the way to the scene.”

The Seattle-Bremerton route was out of service until further notice, the Department of Transportation said on its website.

The website lists the Walla Walla as a four-engine, jumbo class ferry with a maximum capacity of 2,000 passengers and 188 vehicles. It is 440 feet (134 meters) in length with a draft of 18 feet (5.4 meters).

The Walla Walla was constructed in 1973 in Seattle and rebuilt in 2003, according to the site.

___

Associated Press writer Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles contributed.

United States News

Associated Press

Tornado kills multiple people in Iowa as powerful storms again tear through Midwest

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Multiple people were killed when a tornado tore through Greenfield and left a wide swath of obliterated homes, crumpled cars and splintered trees, while outside the small town, massive wind turbines were buckled and twisted to the ground by the howling winds. After devastating the town of 2,000 residents, the storms […]

8 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Rangers recover the body of a Japanese climber who died on North America’s tallest peak

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Rangers have recovered the body of a Japanese man who died after an apparent fall while climbing North America’s tallest peak, authorities said Tuesday. Denali National Park and Preserve identified the climber as T. Hagiwara, from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. He was identified by his first initial in keeping with his family’s […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Detroit could be without Black representation in Congress again with top candidate off the ballot

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit Democrat will not appear on the ballot after building significant support within the party in his attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. Shri Thanedar in Michigan’s August primary, after election officials determined that he had not submitted enough valid signatures. Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett’s ruling on Tuesday to keep […]

12 hours ago

DeAnn Kilgore grappled with the unexpected letter from her husband's killer, Michael Moore. Despite...

SuElen Rivera

Letters lead to meeting killer, life-changing moment

DeAnn Kilgore grappled with the unexpected letter from her husband's killer, Michael Moore. Despite initial reluctance, she read it, prompting a profound journey of forgiveness and spiritual healing for herself and her family.

12 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Ferry runs aground near Seattle; no injuries reported