A Seattle man was under arrest Sunday after he allegedly stole a large ferry boat and took it for a joyride with the hint of a bomb threat.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Seattle Police and SWAT had surrounded the vessel — which was initially thought to be adrift on its own — in the waters near the city after police received a call early Sunday about a suspicious person stealing the vessel, NBC affiliate KING5 reported.
The Seattle Police Department tweeted that they had called also the bomb squad to the scene.
“We’ve got one of the best SWAT teams on the West Coast so when we have a call that's pretty unique like this, a major passenger boat that’s somehow adrift in the water, we want to make sure that we bring in all the resources that we have available to us to ensure that the incident comes to a quick and peaceful resolution,” said Seattle PD spokesman Sean Whitcomb.
Police said the suspect had told them that he had planned to take the boat to West Seattle.
Authorities have yet to determine how the man was able to commandeer a ship of such considerable size.
"The suspect will be booked into the King County Jail for yet-to-be-determined charges (piracy or grand theft vessel) and the boat will be towed back to port," said a statement from the Seattle police.
Witness Darren Ebberon told Komonews.com that vessel initially appeared to have lost power.
"We couldn't see people on the boat," he said. "They were (drifting) pretty close to a freighter... It would have been terrifying."
The vessel, a Victoria Clipper IV, is 132-feet long, can hold up to 330 passengers and travels between the U.S. and Canada, according to Clipper Vacations.
First published December 1 2013, 3:06 PM