Diesel spill interrupts Edmonds-Kingston ferry service

EDMONDS — Normal ferry service resumed Monday afternoon between Edmonds and Kingston, after a diesel spill halted most sailings that morning.

Ferry officials said service returned early enough to avoid longer-than-normal backups at the end of the busy Labor Day holiday.

“Typically, the return traffic on the weekends will grow as the afternoon progresses,” state ferries spokeswoman Marta Coursey said.

Ferry workers noticed problems before the day’s first departure out of Kingston at 4:55 a.m. Monday, Coursey said.

They stopped both boats on the run, the Walla Walla and the Spokane, which were in Kingston. They called in the U.S. Coast Guard and an oil-response contractor.

The Spokane was cleared to leave Kingston at 10:25 a.m., Coursey said.

The Walla Walla, where the spill occurred, was cleared to leave at 12:50 p.m., following cleanup.

Throughout the early morning, the ferry system directed holiday travelers to take the Seattle-Bainbridge or Seattle-Bremerton ferries instead. The Edmonds-Kingston route is the third-busiest in the system and carried nearly 3.9 million passengers last year.

The Coast Guard monitored Monday’s cleanup effort performed by a contractor for the state. Crews used containment booms around the ferries to prevent the fuel from spreading.

“We received a report at approximately 4:30 a.m. from the ferry service that the ferry Walla Walla had suffered an equipment failure as they were transferring diesel fuel between tanks on board,” Petty Officer 3rd class Katelyn Shearer said. “The estimate was that approximately 15 to 20 gallons of diesel spilled onto the deck of the ferry and that about 10 gallons had spilled into the water.”

Coast Guard officials deemed the cleanup complete at 11:30 a.m., Shearer said.

In the Edmonds ferry line, motorists took the delay in stride. Backups were short as people waited just after 10 a.m.

“There was no traffic when we showed up,” said Glenn Winkey, 62, a retiree from Spokane who had been waiting about an hour. “I didn’t expect to be first in line.”

This report uses material from The Associated Press.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

More in Local News

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive convict, missing more than a year, surrenders

Charles Coggins, 60, turned himself in Monday. He could now spend up to 30 days behind bars.

Former homeless camp needs needles and garbage cleaned up

The Hand Up Project will lead a volunteer effort this weekend on wooded land south of Everett.

County Council postpones vote on conservation programs

A decision on funding agricultural and water-quality programs will come after the budget process.

A Q&A with the candidates running for Snohomish County Council

Republican incumbent Sam Low faces Democratic challenger Kristin Kelly in District 5.

Front Porch

EVENTS Seahawks event postponed A Toys for Tots Blue Friday fundraiser that… Continue reading

Most Read