The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Electrical failure parks the Oscar B.

Ferry service returned on Wednesday morning


Rick Nelson

An electrical system failure knocked the ferry Oscar B. out of service late Thursday.

The failure of an electrical panel controlling a steering mechanism forced the ferry Oscar B. to cease service last Thursday.

Wahkiakum County Public Works Director Chuck Beyer said a replacement part was expected last Saturday, but it was not shipped because of unforeseen circumstances.

Instead, a ferry crew member journeyed to Woodinville north of Seattle to deliver the part to the ferry on Tuesday.

"At this time," Beyer said Tuesday afternoon," "once new parts are installed this afternoon and sea trials are completed with US Coast Guard approval, the vessel may be up and running early evening, so long as repairs work."

The repairs were successful, and the ferry returned to service Wednesday morning.

The failure occurred on one of the ferry's two rudders as it was headed from Westport, Ore., to the Puget Island landing.

The skipper was able to dock the vessel with the remaining rudder.

The ferry's operating systems have backups, and Beyer said there is a manual steering system for emergencies.


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