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Electrical problem knocks out Chetzemoka Tuesday night

People traveling to and from Port Townsend found themselves driving the long way around Tuesday night as an electrical problem forced the state's newest ferry out of service.

Washington State Ferries spokesperson Marta Coursey said in an email that final five trips of the Chetzemoka were scratched Tuesday starting with the 6 p.m. sailing from Coupeville at Keystone Harbor.

Coursey said workers found an electrical problem with a sprinkler pump. A spare part was located at the Everett Shipyard and, after 7 p.m., it was being transported to Whidbey Island. Workers replaced the part and tested the equipment.

Coursey said the United States Coast Guard cleared the Chetzemoka to return to service and sailings resumed Wednesday morning.

Because the Chetzemoka is the only vessel in the ferry system capable of navigating in and out of Keystone Harbor, motorists had to take an alternative route getting over to Port Townsend. That means catching ferries in Clinton and Edmonds to travel to the Olympic Peninsula.

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