Elwha loses power, being escorted to Anacortes

The M.V. Elwha ... lost power today and is being towed to Anacortes. - Wikimedia Commons
The M.V. Elwha ... lost power today and is being towed to Anacortes.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Elwha is out of service and being escorted to Anacortes this morning after it lost power and drifted in deep water about a half-mile from Blakely Island.

Washington State Ferries reported that the ferry has more than 200 people on board. Wind in the area is reported to be 7-8 knots and the seas are calm.

The Elwha reportedly lost power after leaving Shaw Island about 8 a.m. for Anacortes. At 8:17 a.m., WSF issued a bulletin that the Elwha is "temporarily out of service."

The Coast Guard cutters Wahoo and Osprey were en route to the scene, along with an MH-65 helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and the tug Lindsay Foss, when the Elwha's power returned. The Lindsay Foss and a smallboat from Coast Guard Station Bellingham are escorting the Elwha into Anacortes, the Coast Guard reported.

Navy and Canadian vessels were prepared to assist if necessary.

Spokeswoman Susan Harris in Seattle told the Associated Press the Elwha has 100 cars and 200 passengers on board and is in no danger. She told the AP the Elwha will be towed to Anacortes where the ferry system expects an engine problem to be repaired by this afternoon.

Three other ferries remain on San Juan Island routes, but the loss of the Elwha disrupts service in the islands. The following sailings are cancelled: 8:45 a.m. sailing from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, 10:25 a.m. from Friday Harbor to Anacortes, 11:50 a.m. from Anacortes to Orcas, and 1:15 p.m. from Orcas to Shaw, Lopez and Anacortes.

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