Ferry captain oversleeps on boat, riders delayed

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CLINTON (AP) — The tale of the Washington state ferry captain who overslept on a ferry has left Whidbey Island commuters frowning at the delays that caused.

Ferries spokeswoman Marta Coursey says the unidentified captain who was scheduled to pilot an early Wednesday sailing of the ferry Kittitas from Clinton to Mukilteo slept overnight on the ferry Cathlamet. Both ferries on the run tie up overnight at Clinton.

She says typically the captain would have gotten up and boarded the Kittitas for his run but for reasons still under investigation, he apparently overslept. The Cathlamet set out for Mukilteo with him still aboard. When the problem was discovered, the Cathlamet's captain announced the ferry had to return to Clinton because of "a personnel issue."

Coursey says the early morning runs of both ferries were delayed about 20 minutes.

She says the incident appears unrelated to recent ferry staffing issues that have resulted in canceled sailings. Ferry system port captains are investigating Wednesday's glitch.

Ferry rider Pam Sipe of Clinton fired off an email to ferries chief David Moseley, who apologized for the disruption.