Coast Guard: State ferry, fishing boat nearly collide in fog

SEATTLE - The Coast Guard says a Washington state ferry nearly collided with a fishing boat in the fog Thursday morning near Clinton.

Spokesman Jordan Akiyama in Seattle says the ferry Cathlamet had just left on its Puget Sound crossing to Mukilteo at about 10:35 a.m. when it nearly hit the 60-foot fishing boat Taku near the Clinton terminal because of the poor visibility.

He says ferry passengers were told to brace for impact and the 328-foot ferry made a hard turn to avoid a collision then continued on its way.

A passenger aboard the Cathlamet told KOMO News that the ferry gave two long, powerful blows with the horn and that the smaller vessel did not appear to see the ferry until the last moment.

The passenger, Howard Garrett, said the ferry came to a full reverse as it neared the fishing boat. The captain came on the speaker moments later to say they'd had a near-collision but that it was avoided and everything was OK.

Akiyama says the fishing boat was in the wrong and did not have the automated identification system the Coast Guard uses to monitor vessel traffic.