A ferry boat carrying hundreds of passengers from San Francisco to Vallejo became stranded in San Pablo Bay on Monday evening, turning a normally 45-minute commute into a nearly 5-hour debacle.
Passengers reported that the vessel lost both its engines and dropped its anchors off the coast of Hercules and had to wait for assistance from a tug boat. There were an estimated 330 people on the boat.
"It was long, very long," passenger Kristina Gutierrez, of Vallejo, said. "But you’re laughing now. Five delightful hours, yes."
The ferry was towed to Mare Island, where passengers deboarded and boarded another ferry to take them to Vallejo. The tug boat was unable to go directly to Vallejo because its hull was too deep.
"It was fine. It was just a long day's journey into night," passenger Michael Beseda, of Vallejo, said. "Crew was great, very accommodating. It’s good to be on land."
The ferry, which left San Francisco at 5:30 p.m., originally was scheduled to land at Vallejo at 6:15 p.m. The delay was in its third hour by the time the tug boat arrived at the stranded ferry, and because of the side trip to Mare Island, it lasted about another two hours.
"At the end there, we couldn’t use the bathroom, so that kind of sucks. But other than that, it was OK," said Deana Curran, of Vacaville.
The delay will carry over to Tuesday morning, with the 7:15 a.m. service out of Vallejo and the 8:15 a.m. service out of San Francisco operating with buses.
The cause of the engine failures was not known.