STATE FERRIES: Crew shortage cancels some Triangle Route sailings; followup on Cathlamet problem

Two Washington State Ferries notes this afternoon:

CREW SHORTAGE: WSF says one of the Triangle Route (Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth) ferries is going out of service for at least the next few hours:

Due to a shortage of Coast Guard Documented Crew, the #2 Issaquah will cancel the following sailings on July 26:

3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Vashon to Southworth
3:55 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. Southworth to Vashon
4:35 p.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon

(Added: As of 10:15 pm, no official updates from WSF. But the VesselWatch tracker shows the Issaquah back in service.)

CATHLAMET FOLLOWUP: On Saturday, we reported on one of the Triangle Route ferries, M/V Cathlamet, going out of service after a mechanical problem caused a smoky scare.

(WSB photo of Cathlamet and emergency-response boats, seen Saturday from Fauntleroy dock)

On Sunday, Cathlamet was seen headed from Vashon to the WSF maintenance facility at Eagle Harbor. Today we asked WSF a few followup questions. Spokesperson Justin Fujioka tells WSB that Cathlamet was scheduled to go there for regularly scheduled maintenance starting today anyway. “That maintenance layup was scheduled for four weeks through the weekend of Aug. 21-22. It is unknown yet if Saturday’s incident will extend this scheduled layup period.” As for what went wrong, Fujioka says it was a problem “with the clutch on the #1 end reduction gear overheating, which caused smoke, but no fire. There were no injuries reported.” That is the same part that had trouble July 9th, taking Cathlamet out of service for about six hours.

18 Replies to "STATE FERRIES: Crew shortage cancels some Triangle Route sailings; followup on Cathlamet problem"

  • 4thGenWestSide July 26, 2021 (5:39 pm)

    Time to invest in some new boats & new crew members.     

    • John July 26, 2021 (8:36 pm)

      They could also make the hiring process a little bit less complicated amd attractive

      • Beached sailor July 27, 2021 (2:15 pm)

        WSF is only tenuously complying with the Janus decision. Sailors don’t have to join the union but they still have to go to the Union Hall and get the job from the Union Job Board. 

        • Hap July 28, 2021 (10:54 am)

          This is incorrect. The application process is online.

  • Phil Blenski July 26, 2021 (6:45 pm)

    How do I apply for a job to be a crew member?   Please send me a link.

  • Flivver July 26, 2021 (6:49 pm)

    4thgen. WSF HAS been hiring-or trying to. Their problem is getting people that want to work on the ferries.  Maybe you could force people to work there??

    • Auntie July 26, 2021 (7:27 pm)

      When I look at Washington State Ferries job listings, I don’t see a single one for crew.

  • Flivver July 26, 2021 (8:32 pm)

    WSB mentioned they’re not finding people that will work in the engine room.

    • bill July 26, 2021 (9:47 pm)

      You gotta be a special kind of nuts to want to work cooped up with giant diesel engines below the waterline. But everyone has their price. Evidently WSF isn’t willing to pay what it takes.

  • Canton July 26, 2021 (11:19 pm)

    Sounds like alot of hoops to jump through just for a on-call position. 6-8 weeks to get a TWIC card, $125.00 fee to obtain. MMC card costs about $250.00 to obtain. Background checks, safety certifications…etc. Some may have to relocate to be near the work. What if these new applicants only get 6 hours a week? At 23 an hour? Not worth the gamble. 

  • Jay July 27, 2021 (9:59 am)

    WSF has a major hiring problem, there Union contact.  I’m not anti-Union but, they need  to allow direct full time fixed location hiring. The labor market is tight a lot of industry’s right now, and even tougher when your using  30 year old hiring practices. 

  • Old Westie July 27, 2021 (11:31 am)

    The rotating day/night schedules are killer even if you don’t mind being locked below the water-line with the engines. Pay is not bad though.

  • Sailor July 27, 2021 (3:03 pm)

    WSF is only tenuously complying with the Janus decision. Although you don’t have to join the union, you still have to go to the MEBA hall to even know if engineering jobs are available. The union and the on-call process is preventing WSF from hiring 

    • Jjb July 28, 2021 (7:39 am)

      That’s not true any more. Hiring for on-call oilers is being done directly by WSF. No one applying for the position has to go to the hall to apply. Infact the union hall can only refer you to the state hiring website.

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