Man briefly commandeers ferry at Seattle's waterfront: police

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 02, 2013 9:43 AM

(Reuters) - A Seattle man was in jail on Monday after police said he commandeered a passenger ferry at the city's waterfront and guided it some 300 yards into the bay before authorities stopped him.

Samuel Kenneth McDonough, 33, was held without bail and faces charges of burglary, reckless endangerment and criminal malicious mischief after he was removed from the high-speed catamaran early Sunday.

He told police he was trying to take the Victoria Clipper IV to West Seattle, according to a statement on the Seattle Police Department's website.

"It first appeared the clipper ship was adrift," the statement said. "However, when a tugboat went to retrieve the boat they discovered there was a man on board."

The U.S. Coast Guard and police responded, and tactical teams communicated with McDonough until they were able to board the boat and arrest him, police said.

Police were investigating how McDonough managed to take control of the vessel and drive it out into the bay, the statement said. No one else was on board at the time.

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The Victoria Clipper IV is a 330-passenger high-speed catamaran owned by Clipper Vacations, which offers the shuttle service from the downtown Seattle waterfront.

The clipper is 132 feet long, 33.3 feet wide and can reach speeds up to 30 knots, according to the company's website.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Maureen Bavdek)