Cause of ferry Elwha disabling found

SEATTLE – Coast Guard investigators from Sector Seattle discovered the cause of today’s disabling of the ferry Elwha near Blakely Island.

An apparent cooling system failure in equipment for one of the vessel’s main propulsion electrical systems is responsible for the vessel becoming disabled while in service. The ferry, now back under power, will be moved to Eagle Harbor, Wash., for repairs. It is expected to take two days for all necessary repairs to be made to the vessel.

The ferry Elwha was drifting in deep water today after it became disabled about a half-mile from Blakely Island with over 200 people aboard.

The Coast Guard Cutter Wahoo from Port Angeles, Wash., and the Coast Guard Cutter Osprey from Port Townsend, Wash., were enroute to the scene along with an MH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and the tug Lindsay Foss when the Elwha’s power returned. The Lindsay Foss and a smallboat crew from Station Bellingham are escorting the Elwha into Anacortes.

Navy and Canadian assets were prepared to assist if necessary.

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