Kitsap Transit’s research ferry Rich Passage 1 ran aground Monday while en route to the Port of Port Townsend to be hauled out of the water for winter maintenance. There were three people onboard at the time of the allision.
The vessel nosed onto the beach while going through narrow Hadlock Cut between Indian Island and the Jefferson County mainland after going on the wrong side of the channel marker. The captain tried to back off the beach, but the boat didn’t easily break free, so he shut it down to prevent sucking anything into the water jets. Officials expect to refloat the vessel at high tide today.
Coast Guard experts inspected the boat and didn’t find any damage other than some scraped paint.
The vessel was supposed to go to Port Townsend earlier, but the state needed it to help out on the Seattle-Bremerton route for a couple weeks when car ferries were undergoing repairs.