Massachusetts

2 Ferry Trips Canceled After Key Crew Member of Steamship Authority Calls Out

Two round trips to Martha's Vineyard from Cape Cod were canceled on Memorial Day, the Steamship Authority said

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A pair of Massachusetts ferry trips was canceled on Memorial Day.

Things are back to normal Monday in Woods Hole after a staffing issue forced the cancelations of two round trips to Martha's Vineyard Monday aboard the Steamship Authority, highlighting the need for a reliable labor force on Cape Cod during the summer.

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"For the most part, they run on time and get you there," one woman said after traveling to Woods Hole from Oak Bluffs.

The Steamship Authority said the cancelations occurred after a key crew member on one vessel became unavailable unexpectedly and could not be replaced.

Passengers and vehicles were rebooked on other boats.

"They always seem to have some issues. It's maintenance issues, staffing issues, so we always check the schedule," one man said.

The Steamship Authority says this weekend's crew shortage wasn't related to the labor shortage. Still, the agency says it's not immune from the worker shortage impacting the Cape.

"I've never had a labor shortage. Never anything like it is now," said Branch Parrish, who owns the Woods Hole Market with his wife.

Typically, Parrish hires as many as 15 employees for the summer months. Right now, he only has five.

"Yeah, I'll survive. We're very resilient. We'll always survive, but it makes it tough," he said.

Tourists and vacationers have started arriving on the Cape. The big crowds are still about a month away, but the shortage of workers is becoming more evident.

The lack of housing for workers remains a critical part of the problem, not to mention an apparent lack of interest.

"I don't understand why the young people aren't working," said Peggy Cunningham, who works at Under the Sun.

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