Early-morning commuters leaving Whidbey Island were delayed at least 20 minutes Wednesday morning because a ferry captain overslept.
The captain was supposed to pilot the Kittitas, but overnighted aboard the Cathlamet, which left the Clinton dock on Whidbey Island at 4:40 a.m.When the Cathlamet’s crew noticed the Kittitas captain on their boat, the Cathlamet turned back and dropped him off back at Clinton — making the Cathlamet’s passengers late to reach Mukilteo.
These included Boeing workers who were frustrated at being late, said Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Marta Coursey. The Cathlamet’s captain told passengers he was changing course due to a “personnel issue.”
An investigation is under way, she said.
The Cathlamet’s captain told passengers he was changing course due to a “personnel issue.” The incident appears unrelated to recent disputes over staffing, Coursey said. (The short-staffing controversy is described here by KING-5 news).
Earlier coverage by the Whidbey News-Times quotes two passengers disgusted by the delay, one of whom said, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Coursey said there were no other incidents Wednesday in the ferry system, but there will be late boats all weekend, because of holiday crowds and traffic.