Staffing shortages force cancellations on Washington ferries

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SEATTLE (AP) — Dozens of Washington ferry sailings were cancelled on two popular routes because there weren’t enough qualified workers.

Washington State Ferries officials say about 20 sailings on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island route were impacted Thursday.

Ten sailings were cancelled on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands run. Ferry officials say there are several reasons why it is dealing with severe staff shortages.

The agency has an aging workforce and is dealing with retirements or people who were already planning to leave key positions that are required to run vessels.

And it’s difficult to recruit people to work in the maritime industry.

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