The following message was sent out today from WSF. With their permission, I am posting it here.
WSF Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith would like to share the
As you are aware, the Jumbo Mark II class vessel Tacoma lost power on Tuesday, July 29 while travelling from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. This afternoon, I will announce the findings of the external investigation on this incident during a 2 p.m. press conference at WSF’s Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility.
The “Root Cause Analysis and Recommendations” report from Siemens and an independent third party assessment both conclude that the Tacoma lost power due to the failure of a protective device in the circuit breaker control, which led to a chain of events resulting in significant damage to the electrical switchboard and ultimately loss of full power.
The power loss is attributed to a design characteristic that did not allow for the protective device to function as it should. The technology to detect this did not exist during the late 1990’s when the Jumbo Mark II Class ferries were built. View the full report
online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries/Planning/planspublications<http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries/Planning/planspublications.
The Tacoma will remain at Eagle Harbor until repairs are complete. We expect to return the vessel to service in spring 2015. Repairs are taking longer than originally anticipated because several of the parts are obsolete and need to be manufactured specifically for the Tacoma in Germany. The cost estimate for repairs is $1.8 M, although we don’t yet have firm pricing from the contractor. Repairs will be paid for out of WSF’s emergency repair fund.
Safety is our top concern. We are confident that the other two Jumbo Mark II vessels, the Puyallup and Wenatchee, are safe to operate. Now that we know the cause of the Tacoma incident, we will make immediate casualty prevention modifications to Puyallup and Wenatchee based on Siemens’ recommendations to ensure this type of failure does not happen again. The modifications will be done overnight with no impacts to service.