Water Taxi bumps dock: Reader report plus Argosy update

August 28, 2008 at 9:53 am | In Elliott Bay Water Taxi, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

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If you go to Seacrest, you might see some yellow tape cordoning off the end of the fishing pier, after the Elliott Bay Water Taxi hit it this morning. Argosy Cruises, which operates the Water Taxi boat Sightseer, confirms a “minor incident” at Seacrest; we checked with Argosy after getting this first-person account from Sofia:

I was waiting on the lower dock to ride the 7:30 am water taxi to work this morning. As the Elliott Bay Taxi pulled in you could see a worried look on the boat’s captain. As she got closer she shouted Oh No and we could tell the boat was coming in too fast. I held on to the rail to brace myself as the taxi came in and hit the upper fishing dock and knocked out the South West Corner Piling (the one closest to the lower loading dock for the taxi). The post was knocked away from the dock and the whole dock shook, the boat then proceeded to go underneath the dock and then finally stopping. There was a small amount of damage to the boat, the overhang over the upstairs windows was bent slightly. The fisherman on the dock were shook up, then they proceeded to joke and pretend that their legs were cut off, but I am sure the ship’s captain was not finding it funny. I felt really bad for her, you can tell she was very scared during this. She then calmly and professionally loaded the boat, called someone (I am guessing argosy headquarters) and then had one of the boat’s mates tape up the corner of the dock so no one stands on that edge. I did not get a photo, but thought people might want to know what happened. It was quite a way to wake up on a groggy morning commute!

Argosy confirms it has staffers out at the dock but spokesperson Maureen Black stresses that the Water Taxi’s schedule IS NOT affected by this. We went out to the scene and indeed saw people in a small boat looking at the piling — here’s video:

7 Comments

  1. That reminds me of when I worked at the Ferry landing on Orcas Island in 1990 and I was counting cars for the Sunday morning red-eye one morning as I saw the ferry coming towards Orcas. I thought to myself, “man he is coming in pretty fast what is he doing?” Then 10 seconds later LOUD CRUNCH!!!! The pilings looked like tooth picks being crushed over from the force of that ferry hitting the dock at pretty much full speed! It was crzy. I just stood there stunned.
    Turns out there was a mechanical malfunction in the workings of the ferry.
    I spent the rest of the day telling dumbfounded
    visitors that they couldn’t get off the island because the ferry smashed the dock and we didn’t know when it would be repaired.
    I think it took a week to get a crippled version of the dock working. People were paying private barges at least $100 a car to get off. It was a mess, but a good lesson in that an island is an island and machines break down sometimes.
    Or something like that.

    Comment by flipjack — 10:43 am August 28, 2008 #

  2. That wet pavement will get you every time…

    Comment by JumoJim — 10:43 am August 28, 2008 #

  3. Fahrfugnugen!

    Comment by SomeGuy — 2:59 pm August 28, 2008 #

  4. I always wondered where captain hazelwood ended up…

    Comment by jay — 8:47 pm August 28, 2008 #

  5. Does anyone remember Pilot Neslund? I’d joke about wondering where he ended up, but he met his demise on Lopez Island…

    Comment by JH — 10:50 am August 29, 2008 #

  6. Argosy puts all their captains who have never been in charge of boats before on the water taxi. Ask those fishermen on the dock how many times that boat has hit that corner!

    Comment by JDog — 1:37 pm August 29, 2008 #

  7. The ferry needs to have it’s own terminal away from Seacrest “FISHING” Pier. I was on the pier when the taxi rammed it. I mean full throttle busting the pier off the SW piling with boat coming to rest with railing touching wheel house glass (check the dent on wheelhouse roof!). She must have thought the throttle was clutch or something. I almost slipped a disk and one lady went down, but not injured. Other instances the ferry does best they can to maneuver divers bubbles near the dock. SOLUTION: MOVE FERRY DOCK NORTH OR SOUTH.

    Comment by sethook — 6:28 pm December 31, 2008 #

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