‘A hell of a wake-up call’: Security review ordered after sex offender steals Seattle-to-Canada ferry

SEATTLE — A sex offender who authorities say managed to steal one of the boats used for Seattle-to-Canada ferry service had his bail set at $200,000 as company officials reviewed security procedures to try to prevent trespassers from getting on board the vessels in the future.

AP Photo/Washington Department of CorrectionsOfficials are reviewing security for a commercial Seattle-to-Victoria, British Columbia, ferry service after Samuel Kenneth McDonough managed to take one of the ships from the Seattle waterfront, risking collision with other ships in busy Elliott Bay.

AP Photo/Washington Department of Corrections Officials are reviewing security for a commercial Seattle-to-Victoria, British Columbia, ferry service after Samuel Kenneth McDonough managed to take one of the ships from the Seattle waterfront, risking collision with other ships in busy Elliott Bay.

“We were very, very fortunate this individual did not run into a state ferry or grain ship out by the grain terminal,” Clipper Vacations CEO Darrell Bryan said. “It was a hell of a wake-up call.”

Samuel Kenneth McDonough was arrested by a SWAT team that boarded a Victoria Clipper on Sunday, seven hours after the ship motored away and drifted in Elliott Bay. McDonough, 33, was jailed for investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief, and an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.

A King County judge set his bail Monday and prosecutors have until Wednesday to formally charge him. It wasn’t known whether McDonough has a lawyer. In a probable cause statement released Monday, McDonough told police he did not know how to operate the vessel or its lights.

Clipper ships make daily runs from Seattle to Victoria, B.C. Victoria Clipper is popular with tourists and ferries about 300,000 passengers a year.

Many are wondering how the ferry, valued at $8 million, was pirated away in an incident that could have done severe damage to other boats and the bay. The boat had about 5,000 litres of diesel on board.

Bryan says the intruder apparently climbed through a gap over a 2.5-metre chain link fence to enter Pier 69.

The intruder somehow boarded one of three Clipper ships and started the engine on the 40-metre catamaran. He untied a couple of ropes but broke or damaged two cleats — metal fittings used to tie ships down — to clear the dock.

“We think the guy knew enough to get going but not enough to handle the hand controls,” Bryan said. Read the rest of this entry »


Sex Offender Steals Ferry? Seattle Ferry Theft A ‘Wake-Up Call’ For Security

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SEATTLE (AP) — A sex offender who authorities say managed to steal one of the boats used for Seattle-to-Canada ferry service had his bail set at $200,000 as company officials reviewed security procedures to try to prevent trespassers from getting on board the vessels in the future.

“We were very, very fortunate this individual did not run into a state ferry or grain ship out by the grain terminal,” Clipper Vacations CEO Darrell Bryan said. “It was a hell of a wake-up call.”

Samuel Kenneth McDonough was arrested by a SWAT team that boarded a Victoria Clipper on Sunday, seven hours after the ship motored away and drifted in Elliott Bay. McDonough, 33, was jailed for investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief, and an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.

A King County judge set his bail Monday and prosecutors have until Wednesday to formally charge him. It wasn’t known whether McDonough has an attorney of record who could comment on his behalf. In a probable cause statement released Monday, McDonough told police he did not know how to operate the vessel or its lights.

Read the rest of this entry »