UPDATE: 7:15 a.m. Monday:
Here is a complete wrap-up of the Victoria Clipper story.
UPDATE: 10 p.m.
A SWAT team boarded the high-speed catamaran about 10:20 a.m. and arrested the unarmed man within 15 minutes, police reported.
The man told police he took the boat because he “wanted to go to West Seattle,” police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said.
Police booked the 33-year-old Samuel Kenneth McDonough into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief and a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender. The Port of Seattle Police Department will handle follow-up on the case.
About 12:30 p.m., when the ferry returned to port under its own power, police escorted McDonough from the vessel in handcuffs.
The 132-foot Victoria Clipper IV was set adrift about 300 yards off shore when police arrested the man.
Darrell Bryan, chief executive officer of Clipper Navigation, said he was in his office about 5 a.m., worrying about the wind and high waves, when he noticed the boat about 100 feet from the dock. He said he knew it was due for repair and not scheduled to be refueled. He called all the captains to see if they were on the boat and when they weren’t, he concluded the boat had been stolen. The man was able to start the boat because he apparently had some knowledge of boats, Bryan said. The boat has a joy stick and, according to the vessel superintendent, John Jacoby, the thief tried to use it like it was “an XBox,” causing the boat to go in circles.
No other passengers appeared to be on the vessel at the time of today’s incident.
Clipper Vacations provides ferry service between Seattle and Victoria, B.C., and the San Juan Islands. The Victoria Clipper IV — a 330-passenger, high-speed catamaran ferry that’s capable of traveling up to 30 knots — is one of three vessels in the Clipper fleet, based on Seattle’s waterfront at Pier 69.
Clarification: An earlier version of this post said the Clipper can travel up to 30 knots per hour. A knot is equal to one nautical mile per hour, so the phrase “per hour” isn’t necessary.