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Ferry “Sealth” squeezes through Ballard Locks on her way to Anacortes dry dock

Sept. 26, 2016 - Washington state ferry "Sealth" sails west to Anacortes through the Ballard Locks with about a foot of clearance on each side.

SEATTLE  –  As the sun came up over Seattle, a Washington ferry that’s longer than a football field made its way through the Ballard Locks.

Crew members on the ferry “Sealth” took their time to edge her through the locks very slowly and carefully.

The Sealth left Lake Union and headed to Anacortes.   That’s where it’ll be lifted out of the water by a bigger dry dock than one in Lake Union.

“At that point, Ferry Sealth will be completely lifted out of the water,”  said Washington State Ferries spokesperson Broch Bender.  “The Coast Guard will inspect every inch of the hull.”

Coast Guard regulations require the hull be inspected every two or three years.

“One of the interesting things about this ferry, is that not all of our ferries can fit through the Ballard Locks,”  Bender said.  “The Sealth is one of them (that can), because she’s only 78 feet wide.  The locks are 80 feet wide.  So it’s kind of a tight squeeze to get through.”

After the dry dock, the Sealth will have another Coast Guard annual inspection at Eagle Harbor, then return to the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route later this fall.

“The folks over here at the Army Corps of Engineers do a great job,” Bender said.  “They’re used to all of this.  The ferry transited through the locks in July.”