Photo by Dean Petrich

Ferry twice stalled by wayward watercraft

The ferry was already behind schedule when a small boat capsized near the Clinton terminal’s dock.

It’s been a busy week for the single ferry boat running the Clinton-Mukilteo route, made even busier with delayed sailings caused by wayward watercraft on more than one occasion.

The 144-car Suquamish was running 25 minutes behind schedule early Wednesday afternoon when a small, aluminum boat capsized near the Clinton ferry terminal’s dock.

Freeland resident Dean Petrich was aboard the ferry at the time and thought it was odd that the vessel stopped and then started traveling in reverse.

“I thought, ‘What’d they do, aim wrong or something?’” Petrich said.

It soon became clear what was happening when a bright orange rescue boat descended from the ferry and headed towards the overturned dinghy, towing it to safety on the shore.

Oddly enough, the dinghy belongs to Washington State Ferries. Ian Sterling, a spokesperson for the ferry system, said workers were doing routine maintenance in the boat when it got swamped, presumably due to windy conditions out on the water.

“Not a big, huge thing, but embarrassing all the same,” Sterling said with a laugh.

People inside the maintenance ship were brought onboard the rescue vessel, which also towed the boat.

The Suquamish was delayed again Thursday night, when the ferry responded to a boat in peril near the Mukilteo ferry terminal.

Sterling said a small boat containing two people appeared to be adrift. Ferry crew members investigated the situation and found out that it was out of fuel. A rescue boat was launched again from the ferry, which towed the disabled vessel to Mukilteo.

Photo by Noah Person

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