Ferry Kaleetan rams the Seattle Ferry Terminal on May 8, 1968.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 3/03/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3033

On May 8, 1968, the superferry Kaleetan smacks into a slip at the Seattle Ferry Terminal, damaging five automobiles on the car deck. Except for a few minor bumps and scrapes, the crew and passengers avoid injury.

Returning from Winslow just before 6:30 p.m., the ferry experienced trouble about a half-mile from the terminal when the engines lost power. Realizing that the ship was not slowing fast enough, crewmembers under the direction of George Brazeau ran to the forward automobiles and warned the occupants to run to the rear of the vessel.

The ferry struck a wingwall and then slammed into the slip at about ten knots, tossing cars about. A projection on the pier smashed through the windshield of the lead car, but due to the quick actions of the crew, all on board were safe.

After the impact, the Kaleetan coasted into a nearby auxiliary slip, where the damaged vehicles were towed off and the other 60 vehicles were unloaded.

The Evergreen State took over the Winslow run for the rest of the evening. After repairs, the Kaleetan returned to service at 4:45 the next morning.


Sources:

"Ferry Kaleetan Crashes Slip; 5 Cars Damaged," The Seattle Times, March 9, 1968, p. 13; "Superferry Rams Dock," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 9, 1968, p. 1.


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