Washington State ferry hit by massive waves during windstorm (VIDEO)

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Image: Shari Ray / YouTube screenshot

Passengers onboard a San Juan ferry operated by Washington State Ferries had a frightening ride during Sunday’s windstorm, the same storm that hit British Columbia’s South Coast.

Video captured by ferry passenger Shari Ray, posted onto KOMO News’ YouTube channel, shows waves several storeys high repeatedly slamming into the vessel while it was crossing an open channel. Early in the video, a ferry crew member could be heard over the intercom warning all passengers to stay seated.

The powerful waves directly hit cars parked on the vehicle deck, and the force of one wave was powerful enough to push cars and set off at least one car alarm.

Ray’s footage also showed someone sitting in an SUV parked in the very front of the vehicle deck.

Skip to 2 minutes 25 seconds for the start of the crashing waves:

The ferry she was on was fairly large, comparable to the size of B.C. Ferries’ Spirit and Coastal class ferries that serve the routes between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. But unlike B.C. Ferries’ vessels, the vehicle decks of the Washington State ferries do not have sealed bow doors to protect the vehicles and vessel from the direct impact of large waves.

The wind and rainstorms that hit B.C. and Washington State on Thursday and Sunday also hit Oregon and the northern area of California.

Five B.C. Ferries sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay over the weekend were cancelled after the Spirit of Vancouver Island vessel received minor damaged during Thursday’s storm. The Coastal Celebration is scheduled to take its place until Wednesday.

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