Pam Sipe was late for work - again. Pam has been late at least half a dozen times this year because the ferry she takes from Whidbey Island has either been delayed or cancelled.
The situation Wednesday, she said, borders on ridiculous.
“This morning the boat made it half-way across the water and we had to go back because apparently there was an extra crew member on our boat that was supposed to be on the Kittitas,” said Sipe.
It turns out that "extra crew member" was the captain of the Kittitas, which was sitting at the dock waiting for him to start his shift:
“He made a lot of people late for work today,” said Sipe. “It's unacceptable.”
According to Washington State Ferries, the ferry captain was overnighting on board the Cathlamet before his early morning shift on the Kittitas, but he overslept. The Cathlamet loaded its passengers and left the dock, unaware the captain was still on board.
It was almost across the sound when it had to turn around so the captain could get off and take the helm of the ship he was supposed to be on. And this comes barely a month after ferry officials sent a letter to all workers urging them to be on time, even specifying "set your alarm clock."
The KING 5 Investigators have uncovered at least 119 ferry cancellations or delays dating back to February, situations that are costing businesses time and workers money.
Sipe might not get a raise next year if this keeps up. Even more aggravating, she's started getting up extra early to take the 4:40 a.m. ferry instead of her usual 5:10 a.m., but even that isn't always getting her to work on time.
“I see no solutions,” she said. “I see nobody getting back to anybody with a solution. The same thing keeps happening and happening.”
A spokesperson for the ferry system said “if anyone is late to work because of us, it’s one person too many.” She added that an investigation is under way and the captain could be disciplined.
KING 5's Eric Wilkinson contributed to this report.