Broken ferry leaves dozens stranded, sleeping in cars at Friday Harbor Terminal

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. — Riders at a handful of ferry terminals across the North Sound have been met by huge delays over the holiday weekend between Sunday and Monday.

A broken-down ferry left dozens of people stranded at the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal overnight.

According to a man who was waiting for the ferry on Sunday night, more than 80 vehicles and their occupants were left on San Juan Island.

“We had already been waiting for six hours by that point. In our car,” said Spencer Shumway. “We were there with like hundreds maybe thousands. I don’t know. The whole terminal was full. the B lot was full. I think the C lot was full. There were just people lining the streets everywhere. we were all just waiting.”

On Sunday morning, the Yakima ferry was taken out of service for mechanical issues, canceling more than half a dozen sailings and leaving people stuck on the island. Some slept in their cars, according to a traveler.

On Monday morning, Washington State Ferries said that due to the service disruption Sunday, traffic departing the terminal would be loaded on a first-come, first-served basis to help travelers who have been waiting all night.

WSF said the Kaleetan has now replaced the Yakima as the #2 vessel on the Anacortes/San Juan Island route.

Meanwhile, a mechanical issue put a boat on the Mukilteo/Clinton route out of commission Monday morning, leaving just one boat to service the run. Wait times of up to two hours were reported at the Clinton terminal in the morning, with the remaining ferry running up 30 minutes behind. Two-boat service returned just after 1 p.m.

It’s a similar situation at the Kingston terminal, with reports of two-hour waits there as well.

Just after 1 p.m. the ferry service also warned that a handful of inter-island sailings could be suspended for the day due to staffing shortages. You can see more information on those routes here.

On Saturday morning, crew shortages canceled at least 11 trips to the San Juan Islands.

“I would recommend anyone coming to the island in the summertime to make sure they’re prepared. Not just for staying here but for survival, going home,” said Virginia Sokol.

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