Sealth grounding blamed on human error
June 25, 2008 · Updated 1:49 PM
"The May 29 grounding of the ferry MV Sealth was caused by human error, a Washington State Ferries investigation has concluded.The ferry with 51 passengers and 28 vehicles on board grounded enroute from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. No one was injured.The investigation concluded that the boat's master, Captain Achilles Stamoulis, was negligent in his watch-standing duties while the vessel was underway. In addition, Stamoulis did not correctly ascertain the competency of the helmsman and did not recognize the helmsman's inexperience.Stamoulis is a 30-year employee of Washington State Ferries. Results of the investigation were released Monday. It also concluded that Relief Able-Bodied Seaman Greg Tryon did not request clear verbal instructions from the master about the course the vessel should take. Tryon was at the helm when the accident occurred. A ferry employee for three years, he had worked as a helmsman three times prior to the accident.According to Patricia Patterson, director of public affairs for State Ferries, the next step in the accident review process is a pre-disciplinary hearing for the master and helmsman. Both employees have the right to refute the conclusions of the investigation. The Coast Guard is conducting a separate investigation. "