WSF Collision



the master of the ferry was not punished ENOUGH and if I were to ever commit such an egregious violation of the COLREGS as he did resulting in a collision then I am more that prepared to face the consequences of my actions


“I pity them should they ever find themselves walking a mile in those shoes.”

Translation: I won’t demand a higher standard because I might be held to it someday.



No, I say it because when it happens to you it will be different, because it’s you. You’ll have some excuse why all the “standards” that you have puked all over these threads does not apply, because it’s you.

CCaptain endangered the lives of his crew in up in Alaska all those years ago, he never turned in his license. He endangered the public on a federal freeway while negligently operated a large vehicle with unsecured load, which he never checked before departure (negligence). I don’t believe he wheeled down to the DMV to surrender his drivers license.

I worked with enough guys like you over the years and read enough of your “Sinbad they Sailor” garbage to know when you go in the jackpot you are going to tell whomever comes for you why you are not at fault. I’m sure you have already.

That’s pathetic.


Posting personal attacks against people you don’t know from Adam doesn’t add much to what could and should be a discussion among professional mariners about an issue that has clear parallels to the El Faro management and operational breakdown.

If you have nothing to offer other than personal attacks you might have more fun fishing elsewhere.


how dare you…SIR! I have made public my past mistakes and errors in judgement in order to for others to learn and not fall victim to doing the same. I myself learn when I err and pledge to never repeat. Have you ever erred in your life? Ever once? Because if you have then STFU!

The arrogant assholes of the world who in their own minds are incapable of making errors of judgement because they believe they are infallible are the truly dangerous ones who kill, maim and destroy because they don’t have a voice of caution telling them to be careful and to think first. In their own heads, their actions are automatically the right ones…they feel they are perfect and cannot make mistakes. The man who admits no failing to his fellow man is the one to be most feared…such men are the ones to run from. Was that the master of the CHETZEMOKA that day?..quite likely and how many others just like him out there?..far too many!

Yeah, well I look to the source of who is labeling me here are see a very tiny individual uttering the words. Makes it all rather meaningless coming from someone so inconsequential!


Is there something just a wee bit ironic about saying “Why is it that I alone can see that the only explanation is arrogance”?


[quote=“Kennebec_Captain, post:26, topic:17073, full:true”]
Is there something just a wee bit ironic about saying “Why is it that I alone can see that the only explanation is arrogance”?[/quote]

you are using quotation marks here but I do not see where anyone has used those exact words? Nobody is saying that they alone are some sooth seer and only they can say arrogance exists in the WSF. What is being said is that due to a closed culture and frankly a lot of interactions between pleasure vessels and ferries that some ferry watch officers have an attitude that following COLREGS to the letter during such ferry/yacht interactions is not required. That their size, schedule, service, etc… take priority over the rules and thus they choose when to not obey the Rules of the Road. The video between the CHETZEMOKA and the NAP TIME shows the ferry standing on as the pleasure vessel is approaching on a collision course for an extended period with no apparent attempt to take action to avoid a collision until such moment that the collision is inevitable. I believe the ferry master was steadfastly believing that his size was going to take the field and that the pleasure vessel was going to be the one to maneuver to avoid him which was the rules turned on their head and reversed. Only arrogance would lead to such a belief. THIS IS WHAT WAS WRONG and while you might believe this is a very isolated incident let me tell you that is is not. You can take to the bank that WSF ferries on all routes operate in this manner and there have been more collisions or near collisions than simply this one here.

Yes, pleasure vessels are operated in haphazard ways by all manner of operators however that reality does not give ferry watch officers justifiable reason to not follow and obey the COLREGS. They are the professionals operating in a sea of amateurs and I hold them the the higher standard and why the master of the ferry should have faced a more severe sanction than just two weeks of license suspension.


I don’t think the ferry captain should get crucified for all the perceived sins of the entire ferry system, that’s bullshit. That’s not the same as saying he shouldn’t have to face the consequences for the collision, he should. But just for the collision, not this whole litany of offenses other ferry captains has supposedly committed.


fine then, crucify him for his own individual sin…the master committed an egregious violation of the COLREGS by not yielding first and foremost as was the Rule’s mandate. He should have faced a much more severe punishment because he was licensed and had ZERO excuse to have committed such a violation.



See, there we have it your different. Your own standards need not apply. In these threads I always urged restraint and patience rather than capricious judgement with regards to casualties and incidents. I know full well that I may be connected to one some day and am extending the professional courtesy that we ALL would expect. Nothing more, nothing less. Something about not throwing rocks in glass houses…, I am only putting your hypocritical rants in the spotlight.

You egregiously violated Washington State and Federal Law and significantly endangered the public while on the freeway that day far more than the WSF captain did in this incident. MyGod, had you lost that load how many people would have been killed or injured? Maybe families with children in their cars. Think about that. Let that sink in. Why should you not face consequences? Why are you exempt? Because you didn’t get caught? Had someone else posted this incident would you be so kind? Not so fun on the other end of the pointy stick, is it?

These types of incident are fairly common and almost never get this type of notoriety. In my expierience (20+ years) this is situation anyone one of us could find ourselves in, ESPECIALLY with pedestrian boaters, whom by in large are ignorant of the rules and interactions with deep draft traffic. Had the WSF captain followed the rules to the letter you and others still would have scrutinized and demonized him and his culture, what ever that is because of existing bias against the WSF, which is plainly evident. Be professional. Wait for complete findings and have empathy. Could be you


Here is the thread on Sailing Anarchy; 'Dec 5 - WA State Ferry Hits Powerboat

I see our friend Jammer Six who was here demanding to talk to a pilot.


Yes, agreed, what’s the point of having a discussion if we just say if the ferry captain had followed the COLREGS to the letter the collision would not have occurred?

You could get that level of discussion at any newspaper website comment section. Seems like a professional mariners forum should be able to have a higher level discussion, the yachties have a better discussion.

For the ferry system as a whole a collision between a ferry and a pleasure boat is not a worse case scenario, a collision between a ferry and a deep-sea ship at sea speed would be. If the ferries took a more conservative approach towards pleasure boats would that increase the risk of high consequence event with a large ship?

Than there is the idea that there is no tension between carrying that many passengers every year and a conservative approach to the COLREGs. The idea the every encounter with a pleasure craft can be solved by finding the appropriate section in the RoR book.

I’ve been going to sea for 40 years and I have a lot of wheelhouse time in some of the most congested waters in the world. Anyone who thinks avoiding small craft is easy doesn’t know what they are talking about.

And again, this is not a defense of the ferry captain, just how I see things,


I wish you could see the difference between an accident and someone choosing not to avoid one.

This thread would not exist because there would have been no collision.


That is a strawman argument.

There were no large ships involved in the crossing situation. The ferry was the give way vessel, the yacht was the stand on vessel. The ferry driver made a conscious choice to ignore COLREGS and caused a collision.

If the ferries took a more conservative approach they would follow the letter and spirit of COLREGS and would have far fewer incidents. They sank a sailboat a few years ago when a driver ran over one in a passing situation. In that case the driver and the mate got fired but one could easily argue that it was far from such a clear cut violation as the Chetzemoka incident. At least in that case the master did not choose not to take action to avoid the collision.

If you want to bring the discussion to a higher level, start to address why a master would intentionally ignore bridge team advice to avoid a collision course by taking the action demanded by the COLREGS … which suddenly seem to be seen by a few here as flexible.

If the stupid yachtie had just kept his mouth shut or said he had fainted minutes earlier and did not come to until the sound of the collision this would be a far different discussion and the actions and inactions of the ferry driver would very rightly have ended his career.

Like I said before, the yachtie was stupid but the ferry driver was not only just as wrong but also intentionally caused the collision when he was the only person on either vessel in a position to prevent it … he made a choice not to. That is the core of this debacle … the reasons why he made such a choice should have been addressed by the CG and WSF.


. You are correct that no other ships were mentioned in this incident but the WSF system as a whole does encounter them. When I used the term: “for the ferry system as a whole” in my post I meant to indicate a shift in the discussion from the single incident to the ferry system as a whole.

As far as this incident alone (not the whole WSF system) this is my view:

I don’t think the ferry captain should get crucified for all the perceived sins of the entire ferry system, that’s bullshit. That’s not the same as saying he shouldn’t have to face the consequences for the collision, he should. But just for the collision, not this whole litany of offenses other ferry captains has supposedly committed.

As far as the safety of the whole WSF system, a rate of some kind is needed to measure the safety of the system. Accidents per passenger mile or some such.


The ferries only encounter ships when crossing the TSS lanes in about 5 or 6 or so well defined routes and in Elliot Bay. When they do that VTS is looking over their shoulder so the opportunity to freelance is greatly reduced.

Nearly every WSF screwup has happened when there was no oversight and the master was able to act as he (or she) wished.


Queen of Victoria[edit]
On August 2, 1970, the Soviet freighter Sergey Yesenin collided with Queen of Victoria in Active Pass, slicing through the middle of the ferry, days after its return to service following stretching. Three people were killed, and damage was estimated at over $1 million (1970 dollars). The Soviet ship was not supposed to be in Active Pass, and as such, the Soviet government was forced to compensate BC Ferries.

Years later, while in Active Pass and within metres of the site of the 1970 collision, Queen of Victoria was disabled by a fire in the engine room.

Queen of Alberni[edit]
On August 9, 1979, Queen of Alberni was transiting through Active Pass when it ran aground on Galiano Island, tipping fifteen degrees to starboard. Several large commercial vehicles on board the vessel at the time were damaged. No persons were injured, but a racehorse on board was killed.

On June 1989, Queen of Alberni collided with the loading dock at Departure Bay, causing significant damage to the ship and dock. Six people were injured, including a cook who suffered a fractured cheekbone as he was walking down a set of stairs.

On March 12, 1992, at 8:08 am (16:08 UTC), Queen of Alberni collided with the Japanese freighter Shinwa Maru southwest of Tsawwassen. The collision occurred in heavy fog, with both vessels suffering minor damage. Injuries included 2 serious and 25 minor injuries for the 260 people on the ferry, while none of the 11 people aboard the freighter received injuries.[15]

Queen of Cowichan[edit]
On August 12, 1985, three people were killed when Queen of Cowichan ran over a pleasure boat near the Horseshoe Bay terminal.

Queen of Saanich[edit]
On the morning of February 6, 1992, Queen of Saanich and the passenger ship Royal Vancouver collided in heavy fog while navigating near the northern entrance of Active Pass. A total of 23 passengers aboard Royal Vancouver were injured. Blame was cast on the crew of Royal Vancouver for failing to track Queen of Saanich on radar, though both vessels were equipped with sophisticated radar systems.

Queen of Nanaimo[edit]
On November 2, 2013, the ship was pushed off course by severe weather as it was leaving the berth at Village Bay, Mayne Island. It damaged a private dock, and no one was injured. There was damage to the ship and all Tsawwassen-Gulf Islands sailings had to be cancelled while it was repaired.[16]

Queen of New Westminster[edit]
In October 1971, Queen of New Westminster pulled out of its berth at the Departure Bay terminal while vehicle loading was in progress. A car and its two occupants fell into the water. Both of the vehicle’s occupants were rescued.

In a similar incident, on August 13, 1992, the same vessel pulled out of its berth at the Departure Bay terminal while vehicle loading ramps were still lowered and resting on the ship. Three people were killed, including two children, one was seriously injured, and two others received minor injuries when a van from Alberta containing 6 people fell 15 m (about 50 ft) from the upper deck onto the lower car deck and finally into the sea below. The van had been stopped and instructed to wait on the loading ramp by terminal crew members. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined that the accident was caused by the vessel not properly following departing procedures and secondarily due to poor communication between terminal and ship crew members.[17]

Mayne Queen[edit]
On November 7, 1995, Mayne Queen departed from Snug Cove and ran into a neighbouring marina, heavily damaging a floating dock in addition to 12 small pleasure boats, one of which sank. The crash was primarily attributed to human error and while transferring steering and power control from one control panel to the other located in the ship. The vessel’s captain was also inexperienced with the Mayne Queen and normally piloted other vessels. More alarming was the fact that the captain promptly left the scene of the accident after the incident without conducting a proper damage assessment.[18]

On August 12, 1996, Mayne Queen departed Swartz Bay terminal and ran aground off Piers Island after losing steering control. The grounding occurred while performing a regular weekly test of the batteries for the steering control system. A crew member overheard there was going to be a test, and in an attempt to be helpful and without direction, cut all power from the vessel’s steering batteries, as he had done at night when the ship was stored, not realizing that the test in question only required the removal of a battery charger and that his assistance was neither requested nor required. No one was injured in the incident, and the vessel was assisted off the rocks at high tide, but it suffered extensive damage to its propulsion system, having two of the four steering and propulsion pods for the right-angle drives sheared off and one of the two remaining pods suffering propeller damage.[19]

Spirit of Vancouver Island[edit]
On September 14, 2000, Spirit of Vancouver Island collided with the 9.72 m (about 32 ft) Star Ruby while attempting to overtake the vessel in a narrow channel. The collision occurred approximately 1 km (about ½ mi) from the Swartz Bay Terminal, where the ferry had departed from. Spirit of Vancouver Island struck Star Ruby on its port side, causing the pleasure craft to flip over and eventually right itself, though swamped and heavily damaged. Two passengers aboard Star Ruby later died as a result of injuries sustained by the collision.[20]

On July 13, 2003, Spirit of Vancouver Island collided with the dock at Swartz Bay. Four passengers suffered minor injuries. The accident caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the dock and the ship.

On October 9, 2009, a standby generator on Spirit of Vancouver Island caught fire on an early morning sailing out of Swartz Bay Terminal. No one was injured in the incident, but it caused major delays in the ferry system because of the already large volume of traffic for Thanksgiving weekend. Eight sailings were cancelled that day, and the ship remained out of service for the weekend.[21]

Queen of Surrey[edit]
On May 12, 2003, Queen of Surrey was disabled as a result of an engine room fire. Queen of Capilano was dispatched and tethered to Queen of Surrey while tugboats were dispatched. The vessel was then towed back to shore. None of the 318 passengers were injured, but several crew members were treated for minor injuries. Some buckling of the main car deck resulted from the heat of the fire, but no vehicles were damaged in the incident.[22]

Queen of Oak Bay[edit]
On June 30, 2005, at about 10:10 a.m. (17:10 UTC), the vessel Queen of Oak Bay, on the Nanaimo–Horseshoe Bay (Trans-Canada Highway) ferry route, lost power four minutes before it was to dock at the Horseshoe Bay terminal. The vessel became adrift, unable to change speed but able to steer with the rudders. The horn was blown steadily, and an announcement telling passengers to brace for impact was made minutes before the 139 m (456 ft) ship slowly ran into the nearby Sewell’s Marina, where it destroyed or damaged 28 pleasure craft and subsequently went aground a short distance from the shore. No casualties or injuries were reported.[23] [24] [25]

On July 1, 2005, BC Ferries issued a statement that Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board, and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping were reviewing the control and mechanical systems on board to find a fault. An inspection revealed minimal damage to the ship, with only some minor damage to a metal fender, paint scrapes to the rudder, and some minor scrapes to one blade of a propeller.

On July 7, 2005, BC Ferries concluded that a missing cotter pin was to blame. The pin normally retained a nut on a linkage between an engine speed governor and the fuel control for one of the engines. Without the pin, the nut fell off and the linkage separated, causing the engine, clutches, and propellers to increase in speed until overspeed safety devices tripped and shut down the entire propulsion system. The faulty speed governor had been serviced 17 days before the incident during a $35-million upgrade, and the cotter pin had not been properly replaced at that time.

The Queen of Oak Bay was quickly repaired and tested at sea trials. It returned to regular service on July 8, 2005. A complete investigation report consisting of a 14-page Divisional Inquiry and a 28-page Engineering Incident Investigation was released in September 2006.[26]

The Transportation Safety Board’s Marine Investigation Report, released on September 6, 2007, indicated that “inadequacies in BC Ferries’ procedures on safety-critical maintenance tasks and on ship handling during berthing operations” were major contributing factors to the accident. It appears that insufficient oversight of work done by contractors also played a role in the accident.

Queen of the North[edit]
Main article: Queen of the North
On March 22, 2006, Queen of the North sank 135 km (81 mi, 70 nautical miles) south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, when it struck Gil Island at approximately 1:00 a.m. Two people from 100 Mile House went missing. BC Ferries CEO David Hahn said, “There is a real possibility that they went down with the ship.” It is unlikely that it will be possible to salvage Queen of the North.

Officials have determined the cause of the accident was human error by three BC Ferries employees neglecting their navigational duties. Charges of criminal negligence causing death were considered, and a class action lawsuit for the passengers is proceeding while the Ferry and Marine Union seeks to reinstate the fired crew who failed to provide information to the $1 million TSB enquiry.[27]

On January 9, 2007, Quinsam was loading traffic from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island when it unexpectedly pulled out of its berth. A pickup truck on the boarding ramp plunged into the water below. Ferry workers were able to warn the truck’s lone occupant, who was able to escape before the vehicle fell.[28]

Coastal Inspiration[edit]
On December 20, 2011, at 14:50 (21:50 UTC), Coastal Inspiration crashed into the Duke Point terminal, causing minor injuries to one passenger and crew member. The collision damaged the loading ramp, and foot passengers were held up for an hour before being unloaded; the vessel was rerouted to Departure Bay to unload its vehicle traffic.[29] An electrical component failure in the propulsion control system was blamed for the crash.[30] The ferry was taken out of service for repairs before resuming service on January 20, 2012.[31] The damage caused the Duke Point terminal to be closed for five months, resulting in all services from Tsawwassen to be rerouted into Departure Bay. The terminal reopened for service on May 1, 2012.[32]


looks like someone just cut and pasted from Wikipedia but they pasted info concerning the wrong ferry system in the wrong country. BC Ferries operate only in British Columbia, Canada and Washington State Ferries operate in Washington State, USA (with the minor exception of the Anacortes-Sidney, BC run)

might I suggest a major correction be made?


so you would extend the same professional courtesy and benefit of the doubt to say the heavily medicated mate on the Staten Island Ferry which allided with the pier killing 11 or Joseph Cota for nearly knocking down the Bay Bridge during morning rush hour or Francesco Schettino for grounding the COSTA CONCORDIA on that rock and only through pure shit luck did the ship drift ashore before capsizing and a mere 32 died instead of hundreds or possibly thousands or the master of the SEWOL who made announcements for passengers to remain in their cabins while he was jumping off in his undies? Would you be giving the same benefit of the doubt to the master of the CHETZEMOKA if the operator of the NAP TIME had not left the bridge and had stood on believing the pilot of a Washington State Ferry surely would not violate the rules of the road and run me down? What if children on the NAP TIME had died a horrible drowning death in a crushed boat? What would you say then?

it did sink in and mighty deep…so deep that I felt I needed to warn others to not do the same. If that lost load had caused injuries or deaths I likely would be involved in some major litigation at present and possibly be facing criminal proceedings HOWEVER damage, injury or death did NOT happen and I am NOT facing such trials…that day God had my back and for that I am more than just thankful to Him. Have you ever come close to an accident in your life which would have been your fault but it didn’t happen for whatever reason? Just once perhaps you got lucky? If so, then STFU! Something about launching airborne projectiles within the confines of domiciles built from fused silica…

Now in the case of the CHETZEMOKA, there was actually a collision and there was damage but not great. Imagine if the NAP TIME had been hit so hard midships that the vessel literally was forced down under the keel of the ferry? See. we can bring out any number of hypotheticals here but the basic fact if that the ferry master was first and foremost responsible to avoid the collision but instead left that up to the operator of the NAP TIME in circumvention of the COLREGS

[quote]These types of incident are fairly common and almost never get this type of notoriety. In my expierience (20+ years) this is situation anyone one of us could find ourselves in, ESPECIALLY with pedestrian boaters, whom by in large are ignorant of the rules and interactions with deep draft traffic. Had the WSF captain followed the rules to the letter you and others still would have scrutinized and demonized him and his culture, what ever that is because of existing bias against the WSF, which is plainly evident. Be professional. Wait for complete findings and have empathy. Could be you

had the master of the CHETZEMOKA followed the rules to the letter there would have been no collision with the NAP TIME and thus no need for any discussion at all. Discussions stem from incidents or should we all be a huge mutual admiration society telling eachother how wonderful we all are? Just like a pilot’s association?

btw, it could NOT be me because I do not consciously ignore the COLREGS or knowingly violate them. If I see ANY vessel crossing from my starboard side involving risk of collision I either alter course to pass astern of it or pull back the throttles if I do not believe turning to be the best course of action.

now getting back to feeling lucky…

well do you?..PUNK!


[quote=“Kennebec_Captain, post:32, topic:17073”]
Yes, agreed, what’s the point of having a discussion if we just say if the ferry captain had followed the COLREGS to the letter the collision would not have occurred?[/quote]

yes that is exactly what is worthy of public discussion…pointing out why accidents happen is a means to prevent them from recurring

the corollary of course being us saying that the ferry captain did not follow the COLREGS so the collision occurred…

of course! how could I not see where through blind obedience to dictates from management, the officer piloting a ferry will throw his vessel across the bow of an oncoming containership to avoid colliding with a Bayliner…or then again, he can pull the throttles back and avoid both vessels just like that.

let’s just stick to this particular accident and try to point out how this encounter was quite easily avoided by a simple straightforward application of the COLREGS by the ferry’s master. so straightforward even the unlicensed helmsman could see the answer. no ambiguity to this situation that I can see requiring unique situational interpretation…a very simple crossing of two power driven vessels in sight of eachother. no special circumstance at all. the ferry was the giveway vessel and the yacht the stand on.

and how on earth can you say that this particular collision avoidance situation was not painfully easy to pull off? excellent visibility, lovely weather, lots of maneuvering room with no dangers anywhere for miles, no other traffic to contend with, a ferry with plenty of maneuverability, (did I miss any?)

when was the last time you had your vision checked?