Steering problems blamed for loss of ferry Wenatchee

Mechanical problems aboard the ferry M/V Wenatchee left travelers stranded on Bainbridge Island and Seattle Thursday afternoon, and also prompted two canceled sailings during the busy morning commute from the island Friday.

The loss of the Wenatchee left the Bainbridge Island-Seattle route with one-boat service late Thursday and again early Friday.

The disruption caused a two-hour wait for drivers leaving Bainbridge for Seattle late Thursday. Traffic to the ferry terminal also backed up along Highway 305, leading city officials to post an advisory for drivers to avoid the area.

WSF spokesman Dana Warr said the Wenatchee had “some steering system discrepancies” but engineers were able to troubleshoot the mechanical problems.

Of the 46 daily sailings on the Bainbridge-Seattle route, Wenatchee missed three Thursday afternoon, Warr said.

Two of the missed sailings Thursday were from Bainbridge (2:55 and 4:45 p.m.), and one out of Seattle (3:50 p.m.).

Two-boat service to the island was restored after the Wenatchee returned to the Bainbridge run with the 5:45 p.m. sailing from Seattle.

Ferry officials had already anticipated a busy Thursday afternoon for ferries during the evening commute, given an afternoon Seattle Mariners baseball game.

Sailings during the busy Friday morning commute were also affected by problems aboard the Wenatchee.

The Wenatchee missed two sailings Friday; the 5:20 a.m. from Bainbridge and the 6:10 a.m. departure from Seattle.

The scheduled 6:20 a.m. Bainbridge crossing also was delayed by 5 to 10 minutes Friday morning.

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