UPDATE: Police booked the 33-year-old suspect—Samuel Kenneth McDonough—into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief and a warrant. The Port of Seattle Police Department will handle follow-up on the case.
It was a morning of adventure on the high seas for Seattle police, the US Coast Guard and Port of Seattle police after a man stole a Victoria Clipper and headed out into the middle of Elliott Bay this morning.
The boat was discovered 300 yards out from Pier 69 on the Seattle waterfront around 7 AM, and It first appeared the clipper ship was adrift.
However, when a tugboat went to retrieve the boat they discovered there was a man on board and contacted the coast guard and police.
SPD’s SWAT, patrol and Arson Bomb Squad responded to Elliott Bay along with Port of Seattle police and US Coast Guard boat and helicopter teams.
Police negotiators contacted the man on the ship and, eventually, a tactical team boarded the vessel and arrested the suspect.
The man told police he had planned to take the boat to West Seattle.
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.
Seattle police are still working to determine how the man was able to commandeer the ship.