Man Arrested After Stealing Victoria Clipper High-Speed Ferry in Seattle

The Victoria Clipper IV seen in Elliot Bay. Image courtesy Seattle Police Department via Twitter
The Victoria Clipper IV seen in Elliot Bay. Image courtesy Seattle Police Department via Twitter

Authorities in Seattle have arrested a man accused of stealing a high-speed passenger ferry from a dock and attempting to take it on a joyride across Elliott Bay.

The Seattle Police Department reports that a man was able to commandeer the Victoria Clipper IV passenger ferry Sunday morning while docked at Pier 69 on the Seattle waterfront. The vessel was discovered to be about 300 yards from the pier at 7 a.m. and at first appeared to be adrift. However, upon closer inspection by a tugboat sent to retrieve the vessel it was discovered that there was a man in the pilothouse.

After negotiating with the man, a SWAT team was able to board the vessel and arrest the suspect.

When asked what he intended to do with the vessel, the man told police he had planned “to take the boat to West Seattle.”

The suspect -identified as 33-year-old Samuel Kenneth McDonough- was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of burglary, reckless endangerment, malicious mischief and failing to register as a sex offender, the Seattle police department said.

Officials are still working to determine how the man was able to commandeer the ship.

The Seattle Times reports that the ferry is operated by Clipper Vacations, providing ferry service between Seattle and Victoria, B.C., and the San Juan Islands. The 330-passenger Victoria Clipper IV catamaran is one of three vessels in the Clipper fleet and can travel at speeds up to 30 knots.