The Washington Utilities and Transport Commission on Thursday granted a petition filed by the operator of MV San Juan Clipper to temporarily suspended operations until May 2023.
San Juan Express, Inc. filed the petition with the UTC two weeks ago, on April 13. With its approval, SJE will eliminate their four day per week service from Seattle to Friday Harbor between May 12 and Sept. 5, as well as their three day per week service between Sept. 9 and Oct. 9.
“SJE had hoped, bolstered by a prospective fuel surcharge, to continue operations at an increased capacity of approximately a 200 passenger limit, to resume service and attain modest profitability in the 2022 sailing season,” according to the petition. “However, in late March 2022 and ironically on the same day of SJE’s pending fuel surcharge submission, the Company’s outside naval architect was informed by the United States Coast Guard that apparently due to controlling federal regulations which were revised following a major vessel fire off the coast of California, SJE’s vessel capacity would be limited to 150 passengers for the indefinite future until and unless significant design changes in the vessel were implemented.”
Those design changes relate to the vessel’s staircases, which currently have direct access to spaces in which a fire could originate. Continue Reading