Operator of stolen Argosy Cruises boat apprehended after threats

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(SEATTLE) — The U.S. Coast Guard, along with multiple partner agencies, responded Thursday morning to reports of a stolen vessel and a person threatening public safety in Puget Sound.

An employee from Argosy Cruises contacted Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watch standers at about 7:50 a.m. Thursday to report one of the company’s vessels, Beaver, was stolen from its dock. Sector Puget Sound watch standers immediately began to track the stolen vessel as the operator made his way northbound.

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U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard Stations Port Angeles and Seattle launched 45-foot response boat-medium crews, and the 87-foot Coast Guard cutter Swordfish and crew diverted to the scene.

At 9:50 a.m., it was reported the person aboard the stolen vessel used a VHF-FM radio on Channel 16 to relay threats of explosives and hostages. Following the notification of potential explosives and hostages, Sector Puget Sound watch standers coordinated their response with local and state authorities.

Seattle vessel traffic personnel redirected maritime traffic from the area.

Coast Guard units arrived on scene at about 9:05 a.m. and observed the person sitting aboard the vessel’s stern. After speaking to the person and assessing the situation, the Station Port Angeles RB-M crew approached the vessel and took the subject into custody.

The stolen vessel was taken to shore in Seattle at about 4:20 p.m. for further investigation.

“As captain of the port, I’m proud of the decisive response by the Coast Guard and our interagency partners to successfully de-escalate a complex active threat to the Maritime Transportation System, quickly providing for the maritime safety and security of the boating public,” said Capt. Patrick Hilbert, commander, Sector Puget Sound. “Today’s event highlights the critical importance of continued partnership and coordination with state, local and tribal agencies to ensure we remain ready to respond to all threats and safeguard the waters of the Greater Puget Sound region.”

Local police and Coast Guard Investigative Services personnel are continuing to investigate the incident.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff