On Saturday, a crew of sailors from the United States Navy came to the rescue of stranded ferry passengers in Washington state. On Saturday afternoon, the Walla Walla, a four-engine jumbo class ferry, grounded itself near Bainbridge Island, west of Seattle.
Ahead of schedule, it left from Bremerton, Washington. The ship’s generator apparently failed, cutting electricity and giving passengers the impression of an earthquake. When we made an impact, it was as if an earthquake had occurred. “We shuffled around, it moved everyone around, and everyone was confused,” passenger Kyle Bulger said to FOX 13 Seattle.
According to sailor Jakob Stroud’s interview with KOMO, many US service members from Bremerton’s Naval Base Kitsap were on board. On Sunday, dozens of sailors were expected to attend Seattle’s Submarine Ball. According to Stroud, multiple servicemen and women aided the shipwrecked travelers.
“It was just second nature at that point. It was a different boat with different people,” Stroud explained to KOMO. “We all kind of worked together and helped everyone do life jackets and guide them were they needed to go.”
UPDATE: M/V Commander is evacuating passengers from the M/V Walla Walla and is transporting them to Bremerton Ferry Terminal.
— Kitsap Transit (@KitsapTransit) April 16, 2023
All 596 passengers and 15 crew members were safely rescued by Kitsap Fast Ferry vessels, according to the US Coast Guard Pacific Northwest. There were another 175 autos that became trapped on the ship but were all taken off on Sunday. Stroud claimed that it took 18 hours to retrieve his vehicle.
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