Guemes Island Ferry Service Outage Update

Guemes Island Ferry Resumes Service

Sea trials are complete, and the Guemes Island Ferry will resume car ferry service as soon as crews can make the transition from passenger-only service.
Please note, the weather is still a factor. The safety of our crew and passengers will be prioritized in any decisions to stop service due to weather.

Previous notice (1/8 at 5:19 p.m.):

Guemes has been cleared to complete weld inspections at a later date when weather allows, and following dock/sea trials, we can potentially re-enter service. There are some conditions we are reviewing with USCG and some paperwork we need to wrap up. Dock trials started tonight and will resume tomorrow morning. We found one issue we will need to troubleshoot. We also need to complete sea trials tomorrow, and if all goes well, we will let you know when we can re-enter service.
Please note, we will need to pull the vessel from service again as soon as the weather improves for the weld testing. We will provide more information when we have it.

Previous notice (1/8 at 12:29 p.m.):

Weather this morning has delayed tests/inspections that were planned to clear Guemes to re-enter service. Dakota Creek, our Engineers, and USCG are doing what they can to come up with a plan, but at this time we cannot return to service. A return to service is conditional upon weather cooperating for said tests/inspections which have to be done from a small boat and require calm, dry conditions. We do not have calm, or dry conditions today; therefore, the car ferry will not be able to return to service first thing Tuesday morning. We will have to wait for the weather to change and inspections to be rescheduled.
Riders should also be aware that a winter storm warning has been issued for our area. The marine weather forecast for the northern inland waters this week calls for wind and waves that could mean shut-downs for the passenger-only service. A gale warning is in effect through Tuesday night. Arrow Launch is currently evaluating service on a run-by-run basis, and will make decisions in the best interest of crew/passenger safety. Plan accordingly, and if you must travel, be cautious when boarding/disembarking, and follow the directions of the Captain and crew.

Previous notice (1/5 at 3:35 p.m.):

Repairs on Guemes should be complete on Sunday, weather dependent. A USCG (United States Coast Guard) inspector and a weld inspector are scheduled to be onsite at the shipyard Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. to perform testing and final inspections. If everything goes according to plan, paint can be applied Monday afternoon, and USCG can sign off on Guemes re-entering service on Tuesday, January 9, at 6:30 a.m.
We originally estimated a return to service on Monday; however, the weather has set back the schedule by a day. Another update will be sent Monday after the inspections, unless something changes before then.

Previous notice (1/5 at 12:43 p.m.):

There is currently a small craft advisory in effect for the northern inland waters including the San Juan Islands. Winds 25-30 knots and wind waves of 2-5 feet are forecast this afternoon through Saturday. This could affect passenger-only service and our ability respond after-hours. The safety or our captains, crew, and riders will be prioritized in decisions to shut down ferry service.
Unfortunately, the wind also affects the shipyard’s ability to perform in-water work on Guemes from the water, which has delayed the repair schedule. We know the car ferry will not return to service before Monday, January 8. Before the end of today, we will send another notice with any updates to that information based on the weather forecast and progress made so far.

Previous notice (1/4 at 3:01 p.m.):

The Guemes Island Ferry is now estimated to return to service no sooner than Monday, January 8. Wind this morning prevented crews from working in the water to weld the outdrive bracket. This has impacted the schedule. Inspectors will need to be available over the weekend in order to return to service sometime Monday. Dakota Creek and USCG are doing everything they can to get us back in service. The weather is outside of their control, and the safety of their workers is of the utmost importance.

Previous notice (1/2 at 3:15 p.m.):

As of today, the ferry remains out of service. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a return to service date. Therefore, please plan for the vehicle ferry to remain out of service through Friday, January 5. Dakota Creek is doing everything they can to support us in a timely manner, including inspections today and a proposed repair plan. We are working with our marine engineer and USCG (United States Coast Guard) to approve the repair plan before we can do the work and get the vessel back in service. We understand folks are waiting for an update today. This is the best information we can give at this moment. We will continue to post updates as we know more.

Passenger-only service is available on a first-come, first served basis. Please practice safety first when boarding or disembarking the passenger-only vessel. Please follow the instructions of the crew and do not try to open or go around the traffic barricade at the top of the bridge span. It is there for your safety and will remain closed during operations. We cannot allow passengers on the grated surfaces of the bridges. We ask that everyone use the sidewalk. Loading may take longer, but the passenger vessel completes round trips faster than the car ferry, so please be patient.

Previous notice (12/30 at 6:42 p.m.):

The Guemes Island Ferry remains out of service, and it looks like it could be out through next week. Crews have diagnosed the problem, which is due to a loose engine foundation and cracked outdrive bracket. Due to the holiday weekend, and business closures on Monday, we cannot formulate a repair plan with a shipyard until Tuesday, January 2. We will send another notice on Tuesday when we know more.

Until then, passenger-only service will operate on the ferry’s normal sailing schedule. On Monday, January 1, service will be provided on the holiday sailing schedule, which is a Saturday sailing schedule, with service ending at 10:00 p.m. The passenger-only vessel can accommodate bicycles, well-behaved pets on leashes, and motorcycles (on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the captain).

Questions over the weekend can be directed to the ferry terminal main office at (360) 293-6433.

Previous notice (sent 12/30 at 1:28 p.m.):

The Guemes Island Ferry will be out of service starting at 3:45 p.m. today for an urgent repair on the engine’s foundation. The last run the car ferry will do will be at 3:15 p.m. Passenger-only service will begin around 4:00 p.m. This is a holiday weekend; therefore, plan for the ferry to be shut down over the weekend and at least until business resumes Jan. 2. The purpose of this email is to give timely advanced notice for planning purposes. More information will be forthcoming.


County Commissioners: Lisa Janicki, Peter Browning, Ron Wesen
1800 Continental Place, Suite 100
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Source: Email Skagit County 12.30.2023 6:42 PM