The Department of Transportation says an investigation has determined that human error was the cause of a collision between the Ferry Hyak and a motor yacht in September.
The incident happened in the San Juan Islands, where the Hyak’s starboard bow collided with the port quarter of the yacht.
The sole occupant of the yacht Tasya was rescued by a nearby vessel and taken to Orcas Island.
On the day of the incident, WSF convened a board of inquiry to investigate the collision. The board collected a wide array of data and information and spent more than 30 hours meeting to examine evidence and make its determination.
According to the board of inquiry report, investigators determined the incident was avoidable because the Hyak had adequate time, equipment capability and “sea room” to avoid the collision.
Weather, visibility, tides and currents were not factors in the incident. The report states that the root cause was human error due to lack of "situational awareness."
“We conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into what happened and why,” said David Moseley, WSDOT assistant secretary, ferries division. “We’re now shifting our focus to making improvements to prevent future incidents.”
The DOT says the report has been referred to the director of operations as well as human resources for further review and consideration.