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Contaminated fuel cause of ferry Walla Walla grounding

WSF Weekly Update: A little more than two weeks after running aground in Rich Passage, Walla Walla returned to service yesterday on WSF's Seattle/Bremerton route. Internal and U.S. Coast Guard investigation teams determined that contaminated fuel led to a generator failure resulting in a loss of propulsion and steering controls. Backup systems were also affected by the same fuel issue, resulting in a second generator failure within seconds of the first.

Walla Walla ran aground April 15. After inspections, repairs, testing, and dock and sea trials, the vessel is back in service. WSF photo 

The investigation into how the fuel was contaminated is ongoing. To ensure a similar incident does not occur, all fuel currently on board has tested clean. New, upgraded generator monitoring gauges have also been installed on both Walla Walla and its sister ship Spokane.

Another big thanks to our crew aboard the day of the grounding for their quick actions and professionalism, as well as our partners at Washington State Patrol, USCG and Kitsap Transit for their assistance. And much appreciation to everyone involved with getting Walla Walla back into service.

Patty Rubstello
Assistant Secretary, WSDOT/Ferries Division

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