It’s not as if the Washington Ferries run like clockwork.
They try to. And the Mukilteo-Clinton run I was waiting for happens to have the best on-time performance in the fleet.
So my curiosity was piqued when, at the normal time of seven minutes until departure, the ferry wasn’t loading. A big truck blocked my view of the boat so I thought not much of it and went back to chatting with my daughter.
At departure time we still hadn’t moved. And I could spot three police cars parked by the dock.
At seven minutes past departure time I was genuinely curious. A few more police cars were showing up and a Coast Guard rescue helicopter was now circling with its landing gear down, a sign that it wasn’t just passing by.
I snapped a few pictures of the activity.
Washington State Patrol K-9 officer (minus his dog) walking on the ferry in Mukilteo.
Coast Guard helicopter circling the scene.
Workers (I’m unsure if this gentleman is with WSP or WSF as a number of officers were not in uniform) check around the boat.
And then the big bomb truck from the Washington State Patrol showed up (as the ferries are part of the Washington State Department of Transportation, the WSP has responsibility for their security).
And a dude or two started putting on protective gear.
All the while passengers were asked to leave their vehicles and stand near the back of the parking area. Some huddled by the toll booths for a good point of view. The wind was blowing a winter chill around and warmth was hard to find outside of our cars.
Meanwhile, Sabrina took her first bomb threat in stride.
Throwing rocks in a storm retention pool.
Walking to the side of the dock, the activity on the water was pretty obvious.
The Navy boat was just passing by but doesn’t it make things look more urgent?!? One of my friends said he saw a device, like a log standing straight out of the water with an antenna on top, float by, not bobbing with the waves as the multiple logs were, and head for the boat. Sabrina called this a UUFO (Unidentified Underwater Floating Object). We checked my friend’s breath for signs of alcohol but he seemed sober. I never saw this device but it’s cool to think the WSP or Coast Guard had a mini-sub there to check things out. Makes it more exciting.
We then heard, “Fire in the hole!” and a loud pop. I’d give it an M80 sound on the scale from Popits to Nuclear Warhead. Walking back to the bomb truck, there is now a spool of cord on the ground and more people talking.
Oh look! News cameras! They must know something.
Now to work my way to the front of the pack for a better view.
It’s bomb dude with a black backpack. I’m guessing this is not his kid’s backpack even though it looks like the one Sabrina sometimes uses. He also decides to get his knife out and start cutting into the bag. This is certainly not his bag, I hope.
Movies? Let’s take a page out of Hollywood and, “Zoom in. Rotate. Enhance.”
Does anyone know what that is? It looks like a video game possibly. And the letters “..STROM” ? A little help here?
Moving on, bomb dude keeps ripping apart stuff.
And then he finds something. Shows it to his buddies (at least I like to romanticize all bomb dudes are buddies, just like in the movies).
See the smile on his face. I think he wants to take it home.
After that, he opens and pours out a water container.
And that’s pretty much about it. The Coast Guard heads off…
Ferry workers reboard the boat…
Bomb dude undresses… (just the suit, ladies)
And puts away the bomb blowing up stuff…
Police stand over the remains of the pack. I’m sure some of them wanted to have a smoke, there was certainly some tension going on.
And the film crew turns to filming the boat loading.
We then sail off to Whidbey Island, about two hours later than anticipated.
I want to thank the Washington State Patrol and Coast Guard for doing their job well today. No panic. No beatings. No glamor and glitz as if Tango & Cash had showed up. They kept the passengers and crew safe and dealt with the situation professionally.
My daughter also experienced something I hope she never has to deal with again. You know how kids like anything cool and out of the ordinary? That was her morning and she was excited to tell al the kids at school about it.
In the end, according to news reports, there was no explosive device found. That thing bomb dude showed to his buddies, on second inspection, was likely just a bong.
I think this picture says it all.
Looking for something pretty to look at instead? Check out yesterday’s Photo Of The Day – Immersion Panorama Of Machu Picchu