Seven months after a 382-foot Washington state ferry overtook and sank a 25-foot sailboat in Harney Channel in the San Juan Islands the captain has been fired.
Patricia Whaley, the officer in charge when the collision occurred in September, had been on paid administrative leave since the mishap. The quartermaster (the officer steering the ferry), Kirsten Hervey, has resigned. She also had been on paid leave pending completion of the state’s investigation.
The ferry system acknowledged in November that the mishap was the result of human error. The system cited several issues, including the loss of situational awareness by the crew.
Whaley had set a westbound course in Harney Channel that she believed would take the ferry Hyak between two small boats. She apparently misjudged the separation and when she ordered a corrective course change Hervey steered in the opposite direction.
The Hyak struck the port quarter of Tasya, a sailboat carrying Jack Gray of Chimacum and his dog. As shown in the image above, they were rescued by the crew of another small boat and the sailboat sank soon after being taken in tow.