Ferry service between Steilacoom and Anderson Island resumed Saturday after a 6-hour stoppage because of a mechanical failure to the MV Christine Anderson. The breakdown, caused by a broken shaft seal, disrupted travel plans for scores of people headed from mainland locations to the island for the Memorial Day weekend.
“People have been very accommodating, which is greatly appreciated,” said Michael Esher, Pierce County’s airport – ferry administrator. “This was a huge disappointment for people, especially those from out of town.”
The ferry returned to service after a temporary seal was applied with Coast Guard approval. The ferry will run on one engine and at reduced speed until a permanent repair is made in coming days. As a result the ferry will be unable to run on the regular schedule and service will be intermittent.
The Christine Anderson, which went into service in July 1994, is 213 feet in length and can carry 54 cars and 250 passengers. It is virtually identical to the newer MV Steilacoom II, which is being leased to the State of Washington to serve the Port Townsend-Keystone run following the grounding of four aging, leaking Steel-Electric class vessels.