Inspection finds cracks in year-old state ferry

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The Washington State Ferries says inspectors have found cracks on the propellers of one of the state's newest ferries.

The Kitsap Sun reports an Oct. 19 inspection found hairline cracks in one propeller of the Chetzemoka (chet-za-moh-kah). Additional tests showed each of the five blades on both propellers had cracked near the hub. The ferry system says the propellers were improperly cast.

The 64-car ferry has been in service for a year. It had been in dry dock in Anacortes for scheduled repairs when the cracks were found.

The ferry was built by Vigor Industrial, but the propellers were made by Rolls-Royce Marine. KOMO News says both businesses are trying to figure out what happened. The ferry is running with patched-up propellers, while replacement parts are being made.