BREMERTON – A reported bearing failure on the Rich Passage I has docked the Bremerton fast ferry for the second time in a week, and all Thursday morning sailings have been canceled, Kitsap Transit said.
Morning sailings Wednesday were canceled at 7:47 a.m. due to a mechanical failure, according to a statement from the transit agency. Later, all Wednesday sailings were canceled. At 4:18 p.m. Kitsap Transit announced all Thursday morning sailings would be canceled as well.
Passholders departing from Seattle are asked to check-in with a Marine Services Ambassador at the Pier 52 passenger-only ferry dock, Kitsap Transit said, to obtain a ticket on Washington State Ferries.
Public Information Officer Sanjay Bhatt said the cancellation was due to a bearing failure in the vessel, built in 2009.
“Basically that set off a chain reaction of events,” he said.
Repairs were underway on Wednesday and would continue, Bhatt said, prior to sea trials.
It is the second time in a week that the Rich Passage I had to be taken out of commission for repairs. Last Wednesday, the commuter ferry shuttling walk-on passengers between Bremerton and downtown Seattle, experienced a problem with the firefighting system, Bhatt said.
A “pinhole leak” was discovered in a pipe, and in the process of repairing it, other pinhole leaks were discovered. The vessel was repaired and returned to service the next day, Thursday, at 4:30 p.m. It was not immediately clear Wednesday when the vessel would be operable again.
Later this spring, a second fast ferry, the M/V Reliance, is scheduled to be added to the Bremerton-Seattle route, Kitsap Transit said. The boat, currently in its testing phase, will add a backup ferry to the popular commuter route.
Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.