Chetzemoka restores two-boat service across Admiralty Inlet

Repairs to the 64-car ferry Chetzemoka are complete and two-boat service across Admiralty Inlet was restored today.

The ferry returned to service with the 10:30 a.m. sailing from Port Townsend and the 11:15 a.m. sailing from Coupeville, according to information provided by Washington State Ferries. Officials pulled the Chetzemoka from service early Tuesday morning when engineers discovered a leak in the vessel's keel cooler. The keel cooler circulates fresh water from the diesel engines through tubes that help  cool the Chetzemoka's service generator.

Marta Coursey, spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries, said the U.S. Coast Guard approved a temporary repair for the vessel. A new part needed for a permanent repair has to be manufactured in Wisconsin. Once the part is ready, the Chetzemoka will have to go into drydock to install the new part.

Coursey said a decision hasn't been made about where repairs will be made. She didn't know yet about how much the repair will cost. The newly built Chetzemoka started service on the route in November 2010.

The leak left the Port Townsend-to-Coupeville route with only one vessel, the Salish, and the Chetzemoka's sailings scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday morning were canceled.



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