Washington's oldest ferry decommissioned


The following is the text of a news release from Washington State Ferries:

(SEATTLE) — Built in 1954 when “Mr. Sandman” topped AM radio pop charts, M/V Evergreen State is now set to sail into history and into the dreams of Washingtonians.

Due in part to its status as the state’s oldest ferry, Evergreen State has been decommissioned and will soon be put up for sale.

The 87-car ferry boasts World War II surplus drive motors and has served as a workhorse for tens of thousands of passengers and vehicles in our state for more than six decades.

“The recent addition of two modern, larger and faster Olympic-class vessels to the fleet means the Evergreen State is no longer the best solution for moving people and goods across our state’s waters,” said Washington State Ferries Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye, difficulty locating replacement parts and maintaining a vintage vessel are also factors that make it time for the E-State to retire.”

The 62-year-old ferry was originally slated for decommissioning last spring, but was called back into service over the summer while other vessels were out of service for maintenance or repairs. With two additional 144-car Olympic-class ferries under construction, Evergreen State will soon be offered up for sale. Potential buyers interested in owning a piece of history will be able to bid for the vessel once it’s posted for sale through the state surplus process.

Evergreen State was the largest ferry on the West Coast when it was built to serve on the Seattle/Bainbridge route. However, it spent the majority of its storied career in the San Juan Islands, where it was involved in several rescues at sea. Its crew also saved the life of an overturned kayaker near Fauntleroy in January 2003.

Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries people and goods through the most majestic scenery in the world. For more information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov.

By Professional Mariner Staff