District 3 News

7/13/2017Commissioner Wolfe’s Water Rescue

On a recent sunny day in Dyes Inlet, Commissioner Wolfe got to experience first-hand the great work Kitsap's first responders do for citizens safety. For a recent taping of a quarterly "Commissioners Corner" episode, Commissioner Wolfe was joined by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's (CKFR) boat and crew, as well as Sheriff Gary Simpson and the KCSO Marine Unit. For the episode, he also chatted with Kathleen Gordon, the executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce about the recent Water Trails Festival and recreation opportunities provided by the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails. More information on the Water Trails can be found at http://kitsappeninsulawatertrails.com/. The website includes a new interactive map with launch sites and activities.

Sheriff Gary Simpson and Sergeant Ken Dickinson spoke with Commissioner Wolfe about water safety and the increased risk with warmer temperatures and people taking to the water. The KCSO has four boats that patrol the waters of Kitsap to promote safety for those on the water. The Sheriff's Office is not on the water 24/7, but they have 17 deputies trained for work on the vessels. When they are on the water, they make contact with boaters to make sure they have the proper safety equipment and that they are following the rules of the water, and making sure that boaters are not impaired while operating a vessel. Sergeant Dickinson emphasized that all kayakers need a personal flotation device (pfd) and a noise-maker, such as a whistle. Deputy Chief Oliver from CKFR explained that they are a reactive force, that responds when 911 is called. They don't proactively patrol waterways like the Sheriff's Office does. CKFR also teaches water safety in schools, since teenagers are statistically more likely to become victims of drowning. Both agencies stressed the importance of writing down or telling someone where you are going, so that if you don't return, rescuers know where to look for you. To watch Commissioner Wolfe's rescue and interviews, visit https://vimeo.com/224640733.

7/13/2017Bremerton Fast Ferry Launches Service

Commissioner Wolfe joined state and local dignitaries in a ceremony dedicating Kitsap Transit's new ferry service from Bremerton to Seattle. The July 5 ceremony celebrated the foresight of voters who approved the sales tax increase to fund the passenger-only service, as well as those who championed the idea, the partnerships that made it happen, and the cutting edge technology that makes the Rich Passage I nearly wake-less as it travels at high speeds.

Speakers at the event included Governor Inslee, Kitsap Transit Executive Director John Clauson, Representative Kilmer, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, and Port Orchard Mayor and Kitsap Transit Board Chairman Rob Putaansuu. After the ceremony, attendees boarded the boat and took a trial run to Elliot Bay and back to Bremerton. The Washington State Ferry system had attempted this route years ago, but complaints and claims about wake damage to waterfront properties ended that service. This time, the boat (and future boats to be added to the route) are designed to minimize wakes.  In fact, the boat must travel at least 34 knots through Rich Passage, the narrowest part of the journey, in order to minimize the wake. It then slows down for fuel efficiency once it hits open water, getting passengers to Seattle in about 28 minutes.

The ferry will make three morning and three afternoon round-trips during commuter hours, and ten round trips on Saturdays. For more information on this new ferry service visit http://www.kitsaptransit.com/service/category/fast-ferry or call (800)501-RIDE.