Washington State Ferries (WSF) is performing additional hull inspections on the 80-year-old Steel Electric Class vessels, which will temporarily affect the San Juan inter-island run.
The 59-car Illahee has temporarily been removed from service awaiting the additional inspection, so the 87-car Evergreen State has taken its place serving the San Juan inter-island route. Starting July 15, the 34-car Hiyu will operate on the inter-island route for 1 week while the Evergreen State is at the ferry system’s Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility
for its required, annual inspection. Two Steel Electric Class vessels will continue to operate on the Port Townsend – Keystone route.
“We recognize that a ferry with less auto capacity inconveniences our customers. Therefore, we are working very hard to make sure the Evergreen State and the Illahee return to service as soon as possible,” said WSF Executive Director Mike Anderson.
The additional hull inspections were requested by the USCG following recent, unplanned maintenance of the Steel Electric Class vessels. WSF shares the USCG’s interest in the maintenance and safe operation of the vessels by requiring additional inspections and an augmented long-term repair and maintenance plan.
“WSF’s aim is to provide consistent and safe service to our customers, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Coast Guard
to resolve these issues expeditiously,” said Mike Anderson
, “We take great pride in our safety and reliability record, which includes these 80-year-old Steel Electric Class vessels.”