UPDATE: 9 p.m. | The baby’s parents released a statement late Thursday night about their baby’s on-board birth:
“We would like to thank the incredible crew of the Washington state ferry, Tacoma, and the kind people aboard who helped deliver our healthy baby, named Lucy, who came at lightning speed weighing 7 pounds, 3.6 ounces, and measuring in at 19 inches long. Mother and baby are both doing well and are very happy and healthy.”
Original post: Crews and passengers on a Bainbridge-to-Seattle ferry rushed to help a woman deliver a baby girl, Lucy, on board this afternoon.
In addition to ferry staff trained to respond to any on-board emergency, Seattle Fire spokesman Kyle Moore says a midwife, an OB/GYN nurse and two EMTs just happened to be on board to help with the woman’s quick labor.
WSDOT spokeswoman Marta Coursey says that as far as her staff knows, babies have been born on ferry docks but not aboard any Puget Sound ferry.
The woman was in labor when she boarded the ferry at the Bainbridge Island terminal, but it didn’t become apparent she might give birth so soon until after it departed, Coursey said. Crews on the ferry rushed the woman to a second floor office on the ferry Tacoma when her contractions started coming closer together.
After a loudspeaker announcement asking if anyone with birthing experience was aboard, the midwife, nurse and EMTs arrived to help deliver the little girl. By the time the ferry docked, Moore said Seattle Fire’s emergency personnel found the birth underway. Lucy was born healthy without any complications, then taken to Swedish Medical Center with her mother just after 2 p.m.
“What are the chances a midwife and OB/GYN nurse would be on board?” asked Coursey, who said she was also proud of the ferry crew’s response. “Our crews are really prepared for everything, and they have to be.”
Right now, Swedish Medical Center spokesman Ed Boyle said Lucy’s mother and father are enjoying a little privacy.