Crew aboard the Washington State Ferries vessel Chetzemoka saw it coming, ferry passengers on outside decks saw it coming, but the operator of the powerboat Nap Tyme apparently never realized he was on a collision course with the hulking ferry.
The two vessels collided on Dec. 4 southwest of Seattle near Vashon Island. The ferry’s starboard bow struck Nap Tyme on its port bow. Video taken by a passenger shows the roughly 30-foot powerboat bouncing off the ferry on impact and the operator emerging seconds later, apparently unharmed.
Nap Tyme’s operator told Chetzemoka crew after impact that he was below deck and did not hear the ferry blasting its horn, according to ferry system spokesman Brian Mannion, who described the incident as “extremely rare.” Local media reported the man was below deck in the powerboat’s head.
Washington State Ferries is reviewing the incident but believes its crew acted appropriately. The Coast Guard also is investigating.
“Based on what we know from the video and the staff, they saw the vessel, warned it (and) came to a hard stop,” Mannion said of Chetzemoka’s crew. “We are still conducting an internal investigation to see if there is anything we could have done differently, and that is ongoing.”
“But from what was on the video, (the crew) took action quickly to avoid a collision and minimize the impact,” he added.
Nobody aboard the ferry was hurt and the 273-foot vessel was not damaged. It’s not clear if Nap Tyme was damaged, and attempts to identify and locate the operator were not successful.