Ferry nearly hits fishing boat in fog

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 5:20 PM

The Washington state ferry MV Cathlamet was nearly collided with a 63-foot fishing boat on Thursday morning during the 9:30 a.m. sailing between Clinton and Mukilteo.

A Washington State Ferries source told KING 5 that thick fog limited visibility during the run, but the Cathlamet's radar showed that another vessel was nearby. The Cathlamet slowed after the radar readings became intermittent and after the vessel failed to respond to radio communications and horn blasts.

The boats avoided a collision, but one passenger reported that the Cathlamet crew issued an alarm. The passenger said she was sitting in her car when she looked up and saw rusted metal from another ship appear suddenly. A ferry crew member used the boat's loudspeaker to warn passengers to brace for impact while at the same time the Cathlamet veered hard to avoid a collision.

A WSF source said the Cathlamet captain plans to file a report with the Coast Guard on the fishing vessel’s failure to heed the ferry's warnings.

The Coast Guard said the operator of the fishing boat, Taku, admitted being at fault. The vessel was not using its Automatic Identification System. It's not required, but the Coast Guard recommends using it in bad weather.

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