SEATTLE – Reports came in last week that the Chetzemoka, a 64-car ferry in the Washington State Ferries service, was damaged while in drydock at Vigor Industrial. The ferry, in drydock just two years after entering service to have faulty propellers replaced, suffered damage to a 50-square-foot patch on the hull and the keel cooler when its hull shifted when being lifted out of the water, TV station KING reports.
As Bruce Buls wrote back in January of 2011, the Chetzemoka, with a $80 million price tag associated with it, has been the subject of intense public scrutiny. “It’s difficult not to be unsettled,” Buls wrote, “by the cost … especially with a state budget that is over half a billion in the red and when state services, including ferry operations, are being cut or eliminated.”
Luckily, this accident won’t add to taxpayer expense. “Vigor takes full responsibility for this and the repairs will take place at not cost to the state whatsoever,” a Vigor spokesman told KING. They have also assured the state that they will remain on schedule for getting the Chetzemoka back on the water.