3 ferries suddenly out of service



SEATTLE - First plagued with missed sailings because of staffing issues, the ferry service is now without backup boats after three vessels were taken out of service for emergency maintenance.


Officials were forced to move boats around and modify schedules, surprising commuters Monday.


 One of the biggest losses is the ferry Sealth, which runs between Seattle and Bremerton.  A hole was discovered in its hull on Friday.


The Sealth’s replacement boat is slower and is effecting sailing schedules. Commuters have reported trips taking more than 30 minutes longer.


 The other major route affected is the Southworth-Vashon-Fauntleroy run that lost a boat because of mechanical issues.  That route is also on a modified schedule.


Because of the mechanical problems, the ferry service is running without any backup ferries Monday and likely most of the week.


 It is not known how long the three ferries will be out.


Washington State Ferry riders have also been dealing with missed sailings because of staff issues.


In one case, a sleeping ferry captain caused a delay in the first sailing of the day between Whidbey Island and Mukilteo.