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Newest ferry has a hole below waterline

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SEATTLE (AP) — The state’s newest ferry boat has a quarter-sized hole about 10 feet below the waterline.

The $126 million Samish, which joined the Anacortes-San Juan Islands route in June, was pulled from service Feb. 14 to repair the hole.

The Kitsap Sun reported Friday that the 144-car vessel was placed in a dry dock in Anacortes, where more corrosion, which likely caused the hole, was found.

Washington State Ferries spokesman Ian Sterling says they hope to complete repairs by March 10, when the Samish must surrender the dry dock space. Sterling says public safety was never an issue.

Sterling says the corrosion is near both engine rooms. An independent expert has been brought in to pinpoint the cause.

Sterling says a warranty claim has been filed with builder Vigor Shipyards.

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