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Ferry back in business after crab pot snafu

After a stray crab pot knocked out ferry service on the Keystone to Port Townsend ferry run, the Steilacoom II is back in service. Sailings started Monday morning with the 11:15 a.m. sailing from Port Townsend.

The crab pot was wrapped around a rope guard of the Pierce County-owned Steilacoom II, which is currently the only ferry available capable of navigating the difficult entry into Keystone Harbor. Rope guards help prevent lines from wrapping around a vessel's shaft.

Divers have freed the pot from the rope guard and inspected the other end of the Steilacoom II as well, said Laura Johnson, spokesperson for Washington State Ferries. Cancellations started with the 4:45 a.m. sailing from Port Townsend.

She said there were indications of a problem Sunday night, but officials couldn't get divers on scene to investigate until Monday morning.

Monday morning's incident is the second time in recent days that sailings have been canceled on the troubled route. Scheduled sailing were canceled for several hours Saturday morning due to fog and heavy waves.

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