Big Hips Sink Ships, So Ferry Rules Are Changing

As passengers grow, Coast Guard stability rules are reducing number of travelers
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2011 2:37 AM CST
Passengers disembark from the Washington state ferry Puyallup on its arrival on Bainbridge Island, Wash., yesterday.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – Anchors away. Americans are getting bigger so ferries in Washington will be carrying fewer of them for safety's sake. Officials are trimming the capacity of the state's ferries after having raised the estimated weight of travelers from 160 pounds to 185 pounds, notes AP. The largest ferry system in the nation will now be transporting fewer people per trip. The changes have "reduced the amount of passengers by about 250 or so depending on the particular ferry," said a Coast Guard spokesman. "They generally carry about 2,000, so it's down to 1,750 now." Perhaps feeding the problem: the fatty fare on the ferries. "We do serve light beer," said one operator in the defense of the offerings. (Read more Washington state stories.)

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