Man allegedly took the passenger ferry Victoria Clipper IV from Seattle pier

By Vessels

Darrell Bryan, chief executive officer of Victoria Clipper was surprised to find out that one of the company's ferries, Victoria Clipper IV was stolen yesterday. Mr Bryan was Sunday at Elliott Bay because he was concerned about the bad weather and the effect of the passenger ferries schedule to British Columbia. 

Current position of the passenger ferry Victoria Clipper IV.

But what was his surprise when the weather conditions were the least of his problems. One of the company's ferries, Clipper IV was adrift 100 feet from the dock at Pier 69 with engines turned on. A thief, Samuel K. McDonough apparently stole the 132-foot ferry, untied the ropes and destroyingd the starboard cleats from the deck left the place. He is 33-year-old registered sex offender from Preston. The man passed the fence and boarder the ferry Clipper IV without telling to anyone.

McDonough had to be attacked by a SWAT team on the ferry in order to be stopped. He tried to convince the police that he "only wanted to go to West Seattle,". 

Darrell Bryan and captains of the company Victoria Clipper did not know what was happening and why the ferry was adrift. According to Mr Bryan the Clipper IV had to be docked for a day of routine repair. Other companies in the area started calling the chief executive officer like Holland America. They asked:

"I see your boat sitting out in the bay. Anything we can do?"

Darrell Bryan was sure that something suspicious was happening but did not imagine that the ferry was stolen. After seeing that Clipper IV was far away he contacted the Coast Guard.

Police described the way the thief gained access to the ferry. By passing through the security fence and going to the wheelhouse he was probably well informed how to start the engine. Clipper IV can sail with up to 30 knots.

Darrell Bryan explained that a key was needed for the start of the engines, probably left inside the boat.

Seattle police hostage-negotiation team and the U.S. Customs Service took part in the arrest after several hours the boat was adrift. The thief had luck to no crash in the rocks at Elliott Bay Marina destroying the entire boat. The most of the time the passenger ferry Clipper IV was sailing in circles. Apparently the sex offender did not have control over the boat.

Law enforcement team neared the stolen ferry. The Coast Guard hooked a tug boat to the Victoria Clipper IV. Seattle police came close to the boat, and a hostage negotiator contacted McDonough. The thief surrendered without causing any problems.

The ferry had enough fuel to travel at least 65NM if the thief knew how to opeate the boat.

McDonough is registered as sex offender and was convicted of felony indecent exposure in Issaquah after he attempted to enter a drive-through coffee stand, then masturbated in front of two female baristas inside.

McDonough will be investigated for burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief and failure to register as a sex offender.

Darrell Bryan said abut the incident:

"In my 28 years in business, this is the first time anything like this has happened. You just don’t hear of anything like this".