File photo

WSF cuts BI, Kingston to 1 boat each due to staff shortages

Help wanted for deckhands, attendants

Washington State Ferries is looking for deckhands, oilers and terminal attendants.

Beginning Oct. 16, Washington State Ferries will temporarily operate reduced schedules on most routes in efforts to provide more predictable and reliable travel.

That includes on Bainbridge Island and Kingston, which are both reduced to one boat instead of two. Crew shortages have sometimes led to last-minute ferry cancellations, frustrating riders.

According to a WSF news release Oct. 14, the change is necessary because of a global shortage of mariners. The severe staff shortages are due to many variables, including an aging workforce, COVID-19 cases and quarantines.

“Given what has happened to the response to calls to fill positions on recent weekends, WSF feels there is too much uncertainty to continue the schedule at this moment,” the release states. “WSF will continue to evaluate and strive to return additional boats back into service on a daily basis. Ferry customers are encouraged to monitor the agency website, the WSDOT app and social media channels for updates.”

Route changes

Starting Oct. 16, the following sailing schedules will be in operation:

Seattle/Bainbridge, Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton: One-boat service instead of two

Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth: Two-boat schedule instead of three

Anacortes/San Juan Islands: Three-boat schedule instead of four with temporary suspension of vehicle reservations

Seattle/Bremerton: Continued reduced one-boat service instead of two

Point Defiance/Tahlequah: Continued one-boat service as normal

Port Townsend/Coupeville: Continued one-boat service with vehicle reservations as normal for this time of year

Although COVID has not allowed WSF to hire or train new recruits at the same rate as prior to the pandemic, more than 150 new crewmembers have been brought on this year. Prior to COVID, WSF hired new crewmembers once a year leading into the busy season. The system is now continuously recruiting new employees but is struggling to find qualified mariners. WSF is also expanding its recruitment efforts with maritime academies across the country.

Reduced schedules

M-F Leaves BI: 4:45, 6:20, 7:55, 9:40, 11:30 a.m.; 1:15, 2:55, 4:45, 6:40, 8:20, 10, 1:30 p.m.

M-F Leaves Seattle: 5:30, 7:05, 8:45, 10:40 a.m.; 12:25, 2:05, 3:50, 5:45, 7:30, 9:20, 10:50 p.m.; 12:15 a.m.

Daily Leaves Kingston: 4:45, 6:25, 7:55, 9:35, 11:05 a.m.; 12:45, 2:30, 4, 5:30, 7, 8:20, 9:40, 11:10 p.m.

Daily Leaves Edmonds: 5:35, 7:10, 8:50, 10:20, 11:55 a.m.; 1:35, 3:15, 4:45, 6:15, 7:40, 9:05, 10:25, 11:45 p.m.

Check www.wsdot.com/Ferries/Schedule for BI-Seattle weekend schedule.

More in News

.
19-year-old admits to killing Port Orchard man

Gig Harbor man turns himself in and is booked on first-degree murder. Another suspect is also booked.

Map view of Strickland property. Courtesy photo
City of Poulsbo looking to buy resident’s property next to PERC site

Ellen Strickland wants to sell her property to city instead of developers

.
Towne Square’s new ownership has big plans for reimagined mall

Klein, Fenner see a remix of restaurants, retail in refurbished property

.
Survey about NKSD: Quality good, COVID not

A majority of respondents to a survey about the North Kitsap School… Continue reading

.
Bremerton retiree donates $250,000 each to four Kitsap nonprofits

Donor gives $1.875 million in total to seven groups serving the environment, arts and children

.
Proposition 2 seeks to upgrade Kitsap 911’s emergency communications system

A 1/10th of 1 percent sales tax increase would pay for $41 million modernization

A volunteer helps pick up trash as part of Puget Soundkeeper’s Poulsbo cleanup. Tyler Shuey/North Kitsap Herald photos
Puget Soundkeeper holds cleanup events in Kitsap

Seattle-based water quality advocacy group looking to expand footprint

.
Kitsap Transit briefs community on possible Southworth ferry docking at Harper Pier

Residents bring plenty of questions to executive director

Most Read