It was early this Thursday when the Coast Guard received reports of a stolen vessel in Puget Sound, Washington. The report was from an employee of Argosy Cruises who contacted the Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound at approximately 7:50 A.M. The vessel stolen was named Beaver and thankfully watchstanders immediately began to keep track of the vessel as the operator made his way north.
The situation became deadly when the person on board of the stolen vessel used his VHF-FM radio on channel 16 to begin making threats. The man announced there were explosives on board as well as hostages that could be harmed if his demands weren’t met. Seeing the situation escalate, the Coast Guard Puget Sound watchstanders called upon local and state authorities for assistance redirecting maritime traffic from that area.
The Coast Guard approached the vessel at around 9:05 A.M. At that time, the person responsible for the act was sitting on the stern of the vessel. After some negotiation, the Station Port Angel RB-M crew were able to take the subject into custody. The Beaver was taken to shore in Seattle so it could be analyzed by local law enforcement and the Coast Guard.
Although the situation was potentially dangerous, the Coast Guard did not hesitate to respond effectively and efficiently to the incident. Thankfully, no one was harmed, and no explosives went off during negotiations. The event definitely highlights how skilled the Coast Guard are at deescalating situations and the importance of partnership between local and state agencies.
This incident demonstrates the dangers faced by boaters and vessel operators in Washington. BoatLaw, LLP has represented those injured in maritime accidents for over forty years. If you have been injured at sea or offshore, call BoatLaw, LLP at 1(800) 262-8529 today for a consultation free of charge.