The arrival of the MV Tokitae will be delayed another week, ferry officials announced Tuesday.
The new state 144-car ferry was forecast to begin service on the Clinton-to-Mukilteo route on Tuesday, June 24, but the date has been pushed back until the first week of July, said Marta Coursey, Director of Communication for the state Department of Transportation, Ferries Division.
“We have decided we’re not going to put it into service until [boat crews] have a very strong comfort level and feel safe operating the vessel,” she said.
A rudder problem stalled the delivery of the ferry from May to June 2. Ferry officials had hoped the boat would go into service on Father’s Day, June 15, but crew familiarization took longer than expected and the date was pushed back to this week.
According to Coursey, boat crews still aren’t ready, however, and this is the cause of the second delay. She maintained that there is nothing wrong with the boat, that this is a personnel training issue.
“This is all about crew familiarization and comfort level,” Coursey said. “… We took possession of the vessel late and we’re doing the best we can.”
She added that the ferries division is aware that next week is the Fourth of July weekend, and that the state is doing everything it can to expedite the process.