WSF Collision


Dear Peg,
Please cancel the tickets for that BC Ferries vacation trip we were going to take when I got home. We are both still young and have too much to live for.
Love your KPC.


The fact that there will never be “complete findings” is the reason this discussion is taking place. The process that would investigate the real reasons this collision occurred is closed because neither the CG or WSF have any desire to go any deeper into the event.

One of the reasons why this incident got so much publicity is because of the name of the yacht, the stupid confession of the yachtie that he was down below in the head and the public’s complete ignorance of the navigation rules. Everyone seems to believe those ferries have the “right of way” or are surrounded by some magic force field anti terrorist safety zone so the yachtie got what he deserved and should be pilloried for his actions. Even this site introduced the event with sensationalist headlines and a completely false analysis of the events leading to the collision. This kind of ignorant press played right into the hands of the CG and WSF who really don’t need or want the kind of publicity and investigation this event should have produced if the facts were presented and the press was corrected immediately.

This entire thread shows the power of suggestion, it exists because even professional mariners have drunk the Kool-Aid of the news media who claim the yacht rammed the ferry, the yachtie caused the accident because (fill in your own version). How many times in this thread have we read that we should not condemn the ferry driver because the same might happen to us? WTF? So now professional mariners are ready to sweep this under the rug because it makes them feel queasy about being held responsible for something they might do or not do in the future? Hang you heads in shame if that is your reason for thinking a wrist slap is all that ferry driver earned.

As much as it may sound cold and heartless, passenger safety and the culture of WSF might have been better served if the yachtie was drowned in his sinking yacht after it was rammed by Chetzemoka. Dead men tell no tales so at least then the red herring strawman of his stupidity and incredibly ignorant confession would not have been the focus of all discussion.

The public outrage of a sinking and death would have forced the CG and WSF to take a microscope to the reasons why a ferry driver would ignore bridge team advice to make a slight alteration of course to pass behind the right of way vessel (the least that he was legally required to do) and why no actions were taken to avoid a collision until it was well beyond the point where any such action could change the outcome. When action was taken the driver was apparently so overwhelmed by the situation and his lack of situational awareness that he actually turned back into the collision so that the yacht was t-boned instead of being sideswiped. The NTSB would have looked as deeply into the ferry driver’s history and mental state as they do that of a pilot carrying an equal number of passengers.

I will come right out and say it, this Chetzemoka thing stinks of a coverup and collusion between the CG and WSF to avoid bad publicity for the ferry system at a time when they are facing the threat of a serious shortage of senior crew.


Indeed, the master of the ferry was the one who was incredibly lucky that the collision he caused did not lead to the loss of the yacht and it’s operator. I hope he had the same moment of awakening I had when he came to realize that God had his back that day. If there had been the loss of the vessel and death of the operator who had the right of way and could not have admitted his not being on the bridge then that overpaid master’s career would have ended right there at that very instant.


“As much as it may sound cold and heartless, passenger safety and the culture of WSF might have been better served if the yachtie was drowned in his sinking yacht after it was rammed by Chetzemoka.”

Cold and heartless, perhaps, but oh so true.

It’s a sad fact that because of human resistance to common sense, all safety regulations (good, bad & in between) are written in somebody’s blood. Usually a whole bunch of somebodies.

It’s just the way we roll. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Thanks for pointing that out.

That is the reason the CG and FAA are know as “tombstone agencies” … they don’t do anything until the number of tombstones is too great to ignore.


By Jove I think you’ve finally got it. You can’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.


maybe so but those of us who give two shits certainly have got to try


A few of us “got it” a long time ago and that is why we bother to talk about it. This is a mole hill on the side of a mountain.

Just because the CG and WSF don’t give a shit doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.


if it is one human caused accident per trillion passenger miles at the WSF it is too high and that the safety culture is lacking…there should be ZERO tolerance for causing accidents whether they involve death, injury or even minor property damage. The responsible parties should at least be demoted within the system if not outright terminated. In any egregious case of dereliction or plain incompetence then licenses need to be taken. IMO, this case should have resulted in the master being demoted to mate with his master’s level endorsement reduced for one full year with three years probation after the one year reduction in grade. Had there been injury or death the the NAP TIME’s operator, that license should have been permanently revoked.


All this just feeds the Norweagon’s argument for unmanned piloting. A computer would have blindly followed the rules and avoided the yacht.


Or used its tractor beam to move the yacht…


Things should run smooth for a while, when the toy boats start crowding the plate again someone will pitch one high and inside and brush em back.


crowding? how was the NAP TIME crowding the CHETZEMOKA that day?

besides, no pitch high and inside…rather a wild pitch right to the crotch of the hitter who wasn’t wearing his cup

btw, that list if BC Ferries incidents you posted is still there…why?


The ferry waited to long to take action.

If someone truly wanted to determine how safe the ferry system is data has to be used in some methodical way. How many encounters with small craft does the WSF have each year?


Very true. And the BC ferry record helps for perspective. Need to have more than two old cranks on a soapbox.


That is another strawman … there is no acceptable number of collisions. A single one is too many regardless of the number of encounters. The more encounters, the more care and attention must be paid and the more the entire bridge team should be involved. Freelancing by a rogue master is not acceptable.

The number of collisions caused by a ferry driver intentionally choosing to ignore bridge team input and COLREGS is 100 percent higher than anyone should ever be willing to accept.

No, the ferry only responded to the inputs of the person in charge. That person expected the yacht to violate COLREGS and give way because the ferry driver chose (note the term - chose - he made a deliberate decision to ignore bridge team input) and violate COLREGS because ??? Is he incompetent? Is WSF so lacking in oversight that masters are allowed to make their own rules of the road depending on their mood?

I seriously wonder how any professional mariner can call for this to be pushed under the rug or argue that the ferry driver was not irresponsible if not operating in a reckless manner, or just as bizarre, make personal attacks against those who question the reasons this collision occurred. Trying to stifle discussion by name calling is certainly less than professional isn’t it?


No, absolutely, don’t sweep it under the rug, if you know of some way of making the WSF system, or any ferry system 100% incident free you should definitely let the world know the secret.

The only drawback I see is that it’s unbelievable as is the idea that data can’t be used to measure safety.


If that is a complete list of the number of BC Ferries incidents since 1969, many of which involved mechanical failure, I have to say that the BC Ferries has a pretty damn impressive safety record overall.

Although it seems like the Washington State Ferries have had more than their share of screw ups and incidents over the last few years, some of which were mechanical, and I sometimes get the impression that WSF officers sometimes think that they have the right of way regardless of the COLREGS — I suspect that an analysis of the data from the last 50 years would probably show that WSF probably has had a pretty good overall safety record over the last 50 years.


what I want to know now is why this thread no longer shows up in the list of current threads? it obviously is not closed but it is hidden when looking at the threads currently being discussed…why?


Maybe your computer is acting up. It’s showing as the most recent thread on my phone.