Seattle ferry hits mooring dolphin, suffers significant damage

(SEATTLE) — A ferry struck a mooring dolphin Thursday morning on approach to the Fauntleroy terminal, causing significant damage to the port side of the vessel, Westside Seattle reported. Minor injuries were reported, several cars were damaged in the incident and one car was pinned under the wreckage.

According to a Washington State Ferries (WSF) worker on the scene, the 328-foot Cathlamet approached the dock too fast and lost control, striking the south-side dolphin. The impact caved in the port side of the ferry and bent the upper viewing walkway. The captain pulled the ferry back out and then docked, allowing the cars aboard to disembark.

Washington State Ferries/Facebook photos

The U.S. Coast Guard, Washington State Patrol, Seattle Police and a bomb expert were called to the scene.

Cathlamet is out of service for the foreseeable future and the Fauntleroy dock was temporarily closed. An cost estimate of damage was not available from WSF.

Cathlamet, built in 1981 and rebuilt in 1993, struck a dock in Mukilteo, Wash., in 2007, resulting in $139,000 in damage. The captain in that case was fired by WSF.

By Rich Miller